For those of you unfamiliar with the term, technical debt is a metaphor that describes the impact of poor software development. It’s an interesting concept and, in a world full of philosophies like ‘just ship it’ and ‘done is better than perfect’, it offers a grounded counterview on the dangers of rashly producing code. And just like its financial cousin, failing to manage your technical debt will eventually lead to it coming back to bite you in the ass. Hard.
Think of technical debt as a sum of consequences that accrue due to making quick and dirty decisions. The more messy your code, the more shortcuts you take, the harder it becomes to scale and build upon. Effectively, by loading up on technical debt, you’re incurring ‘interest payments’ in the form of extra effort that you have to take on with every future development.