Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Technical mess is a one way ticket to Technical Bankrupcy

I just finished reading Uncle Bob's new post A Mess is not a Technical Debt. Lack of understanding of this key differentiation is so common in the industry. I have witnessed many projects and businesses creating a mess thinking that is a way to produce something under tight budget and timeline. They did not realize this debt (if you consider debt way beyond your affordability is still a debt) is so overwhelming, it basically turns out to be a one way express ticket to technical bankrupcy. It's an especially popular view among startups. Many startup entrepreneurs are very cautious when it comes taking on finicial debt however reckless when it comes to technical debt. When the debt accumulates to a certain turning point then it is no longer debt but a suicide. I consider a suboptimal algorithm is a technical debt or even unit test coverage from 90% to 80% is a debt however unwise, but 0% unit test coverage is not a debt but a bandrupcy, a train wreck in slow motion resulted many slow and painful deaths I witnessed in my almost a decade long career.

One thing still perplex me is I have also witnessed a few companies enjoyed some pretty decent finicial success while creating a big technical mess...

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