Overly Fast Software Development Creates Technical Debt

In fast software development, companies may take shortcuts and utilize quick solutions that make further development of the software more difficult. These speed-driven shortcuts are called technical debt, which must be paid back during further development. A group led by Professor of Software Engineering Kari Smolander from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) analyzes the birth process of technical debt and gives recommendations to companies on how to decrease it.

“We analyze technical debt and develop methods and operating practices to manage it. Our goal is to also introduce a product management aspect especially into product ecosystems,” says Smolander.

Growing competition in the software market has forced companies to consider whether to publish incomplete software quickly or better quality software later. A company may have to decide which quality features are important and what kind of shortcuts must be chosen during the software development process.

“Technical debt is not always a result of bad coding”, Smolander remarks. “It may also include conscious and intentional decisions motivated by a tight schedule. The aim may be to capture market shares on a short term.”

In the long term, however, technical debt inevitably complicates a company’s operation.

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