Usefulness Of Expressing Tech Debt In Ratios Rather Than Abstract Numbers

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When tech debt is calculated by several technical metrics, it is useful to both sides of the team. Both the technical and non-technical teams can share the way of expressing tech debt regarding currency or work days and at the same time keep a track on its progress without requiring explaining all the technical details all over again. However, it may seem that the number is not enough to determine how good or bad the tech debt is but it is useful to follow up the progress.

Determine The Project Size

It is imperative that the size of the project is also mentioned along with the number. Saying that it will require one hundred work days to bring down a tech debt to ninety percent may sound absurd regarding determining the code quality. So, to find whether a code is good or bad you must also mention the size of the project. The above number may be good for a legacy code which is many years old and have a large number of code lines whereas the same number may be bad for a small cade being used for a very short time.

Do Some Additional Math

If you do some additional math to calculate to ascertain the quality of the code, it will be all the more useful. But it can increase complexity and may not guarantee that everyone will arrive at the same conclusion. It may also require comparing the code with different products to find out the worst possible value of a tech debt metric system. So the best solution is to represent tech debt as a ratio and not just a mere abstract number. The advantages of it are it has both the worst and best scores; it can be compared with different projects as it contains the number of lines of the code, and it is a number which is single, objective and easy to understand.

Safe Thumb Rule

Though the range of best and worst ratio is vast, you must follow a safe thumb rule to ascertain the quality of the code and plan your strategy accordingly. When your code base has a tech debt ratio of ten percent or above, you must consider it to be poor and both the development and management team must seriously consider the ways to eliminate it. So, you can see that work day, and ratio both are equally important and complement each other and both should be seriously considered while determining the quality of code.

Ways To Calculate

Now the question is to know the ways to calculate tech debt regarding work days, currency, and ratio. There different ways to do it and you can check online to know more, but manual calculation must not be done ever for even a very small project as there are a lot of things to be considered while calculating and it could take a whole day. Moreover, it must not be an ad-hoc process. You can either use your in-house system to do it or use one of the tools that are dedicated for this purpose and effectively manage your debt.

No matter what type of debt or loan you are struggling with it is always a wise idea to check for the help online. You can even go for loan consolidation these days so as to be on the safe side and make things easy.

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