You are in a hurry to hit the release date. You do realize the importance of getting the structure of your software module right, but time proves to be the constraining factor. So, you decide to defer the process of cleanup. The fact that you have to meet the deadline compels you to incur technical debt. If you slow down now, the projects in the pipeline will be in a state of the developmental deadlock. So, it is important that you push things forward.
You should manage the debt
It is fine that you have hit the deadline, but over time you need to clear out the debt that you owe. Don’t forget that you have deferred the process of cleanup. There is one more aspect to note about the technical debt. If you don’t devote time ‘to those internal things’ which you have chosen to overlook, for the time being, you will end up impeding the future developmental processes. Do remember that deferred refactoring may cause damage to your software.
Points of difference
In this context, it is worth noting that technical debt is different from a mess. On the one hand, you have a software application that is messy, and on the other hand, you have an application that doesn’t include a specific functionality. As mentioned earlier, owing to the time constraint, you couldn’t introduce that are of functionality. Decisions to incur technical debt are based on rational judgment, but on the flip side, a mess-up doesn’t follow a rational decision.
A well thought out decision
When you find yourself, in a debt-laden situation, like for instance, when you have too many credit cards to use and operate, you may take a calculated decision by checking out for the best way to consolidate credit card debt. That’s a conscious decision that you take; likewise, when you defer the process of cleanup or refrain from introducing the functionality, you take a conscious and a calculated decision. Technical debts are risky, but if you make amends, in due course of the time, they prove to be advantageous. Contrarily, when you give rise to messy software, the decision is far from being a rational one. Such a situation of mess results from laziness. Unprofessionalism also has a role to play in giving rise to muddles and mess-ups.
Results in loss
There is yet another aspect that you should remember. If you incur a technical debt, you can pay out, gradually, over time. But if you give rise to a mess, you will have little or no chances for repayment. A code that is messy is simply bad. Do remember that such a situation (of a mess) can cause a loss, but a tech debt, if handled properly, can yield high returns, in the time to come. Just as a mess isn’t a tech debt, similarly, unnecessary complexities and unreadable codes are different from a technical debt. The same is true of the dirty hacks. To all intent and purpose, the developers should know how to come up with a code that is simple, organized and easy to maintain. That’s the basic of code development.