Tech Debt

There are few industries that change as rapidly as the software development field.  Amazingly, the tools and platforms that are used to create all the applications that continually change our world at an increasing pace are themselves changing at an even faster rate.  This can be incredibly exciting for us software geek, but unfortunately, it also creates a very real and troublesome business liability – tech debt.   By definition, Tech Debt refers to the off-balance-sheet accumulation of all the technology work a company needs to do in the future.  This debt occurs naturally through a variety of reasons, buy the rate of change in the toolsets that create software is only fueling what will become an immense wave of future tech debt.  As engineers flock to capabilities in cloud services and low-code development systems rapidly mature, all our existing code bases are accelerating to a newer, shorter end-of-life cycle.  Be forewarned, you do not want to be the competitor in your industry carrying the most debt as it is guaranteed to handicap your abilities.  The best way to deal with this issue – leadership must recognize Tech Debt as a business issue, not a technology problem.  Only then will it get the attention required to avoid your competitors “repossessing” your future.

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