Technical Debt in Legacy Functionality: Prevent Accrued Interest


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.

Filed in: Technical Debt
  This report describes the effects of different industrial factors on  structural quality. Structural quality differed across technologies with COBOL  applications generally having the lowest densities of critical weaknesses,  while JAVA-EE had the highest densities. While structural quality differed  slightly across industry segments, there was almost no effect from whether the  application was in- or outsourced, or whether it was produced on- or off-shore.  Large variations in the densities in critical weaknesses across applications  suggested the major factors in structural quality are more related to  conditions specific to each application. CRASH Report 2020: CAST Research on  the Structural Condition of Critical Applications Report
Open source is part of almost every software capability we use today. At the  very least libraries, frameworks or databases that get used in mission critical  IT systems. In some cases entire systems being build on top of open source  foundations. Since we have been benchmarking IT software for years, we thought  we would set our sights on some of the most commonly used open source software  (OSS) projects. Software Intelligence Report <> Papers
Making sense of cloud transitions for financial and telecoms firms Cloud  migration 2.0: shifting priorities for application modernization in 2019  Research Report
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