Managing Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems

TitleManaging Technical Debt in Software-Intensive Systems
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBrown, N., Y. Cai, Y. Guo, R. Kazman, M. Kim, P. Kruchten, E. Lim, A. MacCormack, R. Nord, I. Ozkaya, R. Sangwan, C. B. Seaman, K. Sullivan, and N. Zazworka
Conference NameFuture of Software Engineering Research (FoSER 2010), part of FSE 2010
Conference LocationSanta Fe, NM, USA
AbstractDelivering increasingly complex software-reliant systems demands better ways to manage the long-term effects of short- term expedients. The technical debt metaphor is gaining significant traction in the agile development community as a way to understand and communicate such issues. The idea is that developers sometimes accept compromises in a system in one dimension (e.g., modularity) to meet an urgent demand in some other dimension (e.g., a deadline), and that such compromises incur a “debt”: on which “interest” has to be paid and which the “principal” should be repaid at some point for the long-term health of the project. We argue that the software engineering research community has an opportunity to study and improve this concept. We can offer software engineers a foundation for managing such trade-offs based on models of their economic impacts. Therefore, we propose managing technical debt as a part of the future research agenda for the software engineering field.
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Brown et al 2010 technical debt.pdf167.5 KB

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