Most of the software development companies and their teams do not know the proper way to identify and locate tech debt in a code and thereby incur heavy loss due to untimely repayment or nonpayment. The problem becomes all the more severe when the code is old and may be designed by some other team that is not around now. More the age of the code, more is the chance of it being a bad code. Another problem is that old and new codes get commingled over time which makes the identification more difficult as no code is highlighted to indicate presence of technical debt.
The Warning Signs
From the old bad code the bugs start creeping in to the newer codes irrespective of its better design and thereby affect the functionality of the entire system. Therefore, you should watch out for the signs of existence of technical debt in a code. You must train all your team for this purpose so that everyone is knowledgeable about tech debt in faulty codes and its necessity of repayment through refactoring. With such training the team will know about all the code metrics along with the retest metrics to know about the warning signs. With an organized, trained and disciplined team the velocity will never drop below desired level.
Ways To Identify
Technical debt can exist in several places including integration points and old libraries. It can also exist in the various components that are written in languages that are not used frequently. One of the best places technical debt may exist is the codes that are not touched often for not causing any problems. You can use the programmers work on such codes on a daily basis to identify and locate tech debt in a code. They are the right persons to discuss about the condition of the code and what are the best possible ways to restore desired and original functionality.
Analyze The Defect Logs
The programmers do all the heavy jobs that lead to a frank and useful conversation with the teams as well as the stake holders. It is also their job to help you and tour team to analyze the defect logs along with the customer call logs which will enable you to get an idea about the defect in the code. When you notice several customer calls repeated in the log regarding any specific section of the code or the overall functionality you must understand that there is problem in the code that needs immediate refactoring.
Repay Like A Finance Debt
Repayment of tech debt is essential along with interest. However, if you have multiple debts in multiple codes you may be overwhelmed at the situation but if you follow the same principle as the multiple finance debt, things will become easy. Just like to ascertain which debts you should include in a bill consolidation loan to repay, you must also find the tech debts which needs to be repaid and those that can be left as it is for the time being. Prioritize according to the up and downstream results and start repaying.