10 years in product dev - Bull, Sybase, InterTrust • 10 years in capital markets applications - UBS and BGI • Software engineer, then architect, now CTO • Author, editor, speaker, community guy I’ve had a lot of technical debt
postpone making it right” – Ward Cunningham • “The obligation that a software organization incurs when it chooses a design or construction approach that's expedient in the short term but that increases complexity and is more costly in the long term” – Steve McConnell • “Compromises made in the implementation of a piece of software that are likely to limit how it can be used or changed later” – Eoin Woods
• One-man deployment “pipeline” • Quality property hacks Advances • Software architecture • Patterns and platforms for large-scale systems • Open source tools Mass market scaling and explosion in software architecture
network (e.g. microservices) • Digital channels => constant functional change • Shift to unstructured and replicated data • Rapidity and self-service of cloud platforms • New types of code (“X as Code”) • Rapid tech stack evolution (e.g. framework churn)
focus on code, sometimes tests • Data, platform, operational debt often not recognised • Some teams actively manage the debt • Many just talk about it • “Everyone” has a mountain of it • No widely adopted reasoning frameworks • Looming “new debt” problems don’t get much attention
Monolithic complexity led to structure and metrics • Distributed Monoliths brought a metaphor & refactoring • Internet Connected systems needed architecture & triggered open source tooling • Each era has tried to manage the debt it finds itself with … often with limited impact
too: • External dependencies (services) • Microservice dependencies • Data replication & duplication • New types of code and platform • Response is largely project-by-project • containers? runtime tracing? api doc techniques? ... • Technical Debt practice often lags the need by years!
great at ”data debt” but these systems depend on it - AI debt still not understood but will become a standard feature - Devices bring lots of debt but we struggle with today’s challenge • We’ve got some work to do … - We can see what is coming - This time could research and practice predict the debt and think about managing it … before we have a lot of it?