IT leader and Agile expert, Scott Ambler is best known for his Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) framework and helps organizations from around the world to improve their software processes. His view on technical debt is clear in this blog post Do Agile Teams Pay Down Technical Debt in Practice where he explains “Technical debt can be compared to monetary debt in that if it is not repaid, it can accumulate ‘interest’, making it harder to implement changes later on.”
The 2016 study Agility at Scale, conducted around technical complexity, shows that 84% of Agile projects work with legacy functionality, a similar percentage you’d see for any project mix these days. While in the field most conversation around Agile and technical debt make it seem like developers are only building new code from scratch, the study showed otherwise. New projects start by assembling open source software (OSS), which means technical debt exists from the start.
Knowing your OSS components, and what kinds of software flaws you may be inheriting from legacy code is a huge step to reducing your technical debt. Get a general sense from reading this Software Intelligence Report.