On SitePoint.com's PHP blog today there's a recent post looking at technical debt - what it is, how to locate it and how to help mitigate (and prevent) it in the future.
On the one hand, technical debt refers to the quick and dirty shortcuts we take and the effect they have on future development. On the other hand, technical debt is also about the things that we don’t do, such as not commenting our code, not developing documentation, not doing proper testing, etc.
They're looking at things from more of a financial standpoint than a development view, but some things are similar between them. Having some technical debt is almost unavoidable, but having a lot is a bad thing. They discuss how it relates to the quality of the product/codebase and three strategies for dealing with debt:
- Don't ignore it
- Triage it correctly and realistically
- Impose a debt ceiling and schedule regular time to work on it