Technical Debt, Technical Liability, and Moral Hazard


Moral hazard is a situation when a party is more likely to take a risk because they are not the ones bearing the possible costs of that risk. This post concludes that one of the sources that can contribute to technical debt is moral hazard – which comes from the person coding being motivated to get the code done quickly and not being cautious of cutting corners because of their lack of commitment to the possible costs. This connects to another interesting point that this post makes; code deficiencies do not become technical debt until there is a commitment to address the deficiencies. Basically, it’s not a debt if you don’t have to pay it off – but creating these deficiencies raises the probability of having to commit to fix the code. This probability of the costs that might be taken on is what this post calls technical liability. The liability must be understood in order to decide to invest in reducing the deficiencies created by technical debt.

This post is an interesting addition to the differing perspectives surrounding technical debt and has some new insights surrounding culture of creating technical debt. To read the full post go to:

Filed in: Technical Debt
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