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Hackernoon logoDo you know how much time quick fixes are costing you and your team? by@poornima

Do you know how much time quick fixes are costing you and your team?

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@poornimaPoornima Vijayashanker

Ronan Dunlop, Director of Marketing at Pivotal Labs (right) and Poornima Vijayashanker, Founder of Femgineer (left)

What Is Tech Debt And How Do You Manage It

Image it’s crunch time…

Maybe you’re already thinking: “When is it NOT crunch time?!”

You’ve got eager customers who are waiting for you to ship product, your teammates are desperate to complete the release and move on, and you don’t want to be the bottleneck.

So what to do you?

You rush through writing your code and put in a quick fix. It’s good enough to pass tests and a quick code review.

Or maybe you’re not the one coding. You maybe one of the people encouraging someone else on your team to put in a quick fix and move on.

Unfortunately, crunch time doesn’t come around once in a blue moon. It happens more often than we’d like. And sadly it gets heralded by sayings like: “Move fast!” “Break things!” And, “Ship code!”

As designers, product managers, and developers we are eager to share what we’ve built with customers. However, constantly operating by the seat of our pants comes at a price and that price is tech debt.

Whether you have or haven’t heard of tech debt, I’m pretty sure you’ve experienced its effects. If you’ve been on product teams that seem to constantly be putting out fires, you’ve probably noticed that over time all those quick fixes add up. And when it comes time to build something brand new, what would normally take a few hours or days, suddenly takes weeks or months.

The reason it takes so long is because there’s a lot of cruft built up in the code base. Continuing to layer on quick fixes will only destabilize the code and impact its quality.

If you’ve struggled to deal with tech debt on your product team, or want to educate new teammates on how to manage it, then today’s Build Tip is for you!

I’m joined by Jay Hum who is a Product Manager and Pivotal, and together we’re going to be sharing:

  • What tech debt it is and how to recognize it
  • When it make senses to accrue tech debt — yes there are time where it makes sense to let it build up
  • When to pay it down or just continue to ignore — unlike other types of debt, you don’t always need to pay down tech debt
  • When it’s too late to pay down debt tech and what to do

Be sure to share the episode with your teammates to help them understand the importance of tech debt.

Once you’re done watching the episode, let us know in the comments below how you handle tech debt in your company.

Listen to the episode on iTunes!

You can listen to this episode of Build on iTunes.

Enjoyed this episode and want to watch more?

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Want more resources on tech debt? Here’s a link to the post Jay mentioned in the episode: Introduction to the Technical Debt Concept

Build is produced as a partnership between Femgineer and Pivotal Tracker. San Francisco video production by StartMotionMEDIA.

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