Paying down technical debt – old and cluttered code clogging up the system – is something that most tech teams have on their wish list, but often fail to get to amid much more pressing and mission-critical tasks. However, cluttered codebases create a tangled mess for future developers. It is worth it to put a team on getting rid of technical debt and cleaning up the code base now, to save time – and money over the long run.

Speed Up Bug Fixes

When code is cluttered, even a simple bug can take a long time to resolve. The longer someone has to slog through messy code, the longer the bug remains intact. Technical debt doesn’t just complicate bugs. Adding a simple new feature can take exorbitant amounts of time when the code is a disaster.

Decrease Rework

When it becomes necessary to rewrite code, technical debt can turn the process into a complete re-do from scratch. Starting over wastes time and resources as it likely requires more people to get involved and eats into a project’s bottom line.

Break The Vicious Cycle

When a team is under pressure and needs to add a quick fix, they tend to defer to the code that is already in place. If that code is complex or messy, the “quick fix” also becomes complex and messy as it’s often easier to write to what’s already there. This means that the fix is compounding the existing technical debt, and the cycle will continue. Eliminating the messy code and tech debt ensures that future fixes are true solutions.

How To Reduce Technical Debt

Technical debt is like credit card debt. When it’s small, it’s manageable. But once it gets even a little bit out of control, it’s extremely difficult to reel back in. If you’re ready to tackle your technical debt, you can start to reduce it by:

  • Adding tests to detect bugs as soon as one is identified.
  • Using static analyzers to detect clunky code.
  • Allocating time to work on cleaning up the debt and making that time non-negotiable.
  • Hire contractors to tackle the technical debt issue or to supplement your team while they tackle the reduction.

Prioritizing the elimination of technical debt will make your team more efficient and will improve the end result. The longer you let it spiral and compound, the worse the situation becomes. If you are ready to tackle your technical debt, the award-winning recruiters at Talon can connect you with top tech talent.  Contact Talon today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.


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