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A Burst

on 14 April 2014

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Technical debt is a silent killer that stalks all projects
Make it visible and pay it off

Take away
Further Possibilities of Technical Debt
To measure how much invest is needed to fix the code
To get data and insights to guide the fix-it process
To prevent (technical) trouble for new projects from the beginning on
What is Technical Debt?
Term was brought up by Ward Cunningham already in 1992

It describes an analogy to financial debt in a technical environment
Financial debt = borrow money against a future date
Technical debt = borrow time against a future date

Technical debt is both the intentional and unintentional violations of good architectural and coding practices
Tool for Measuring
Sonar is an open source software quality dashboard that
incorporates static code analysis, code coverage, and coding rule automation to provide component/ module-level assessments
but also allows you to delve into the code and see where potential quality hotspot issues lie

Sonar includes metrics for
Test code coverage
Code complexity
ETAS will extend these by metrics for
Technical Debt
From KillerApp to AppKiller -
Technical Debt
„Technical Debt‘s usefulness has been limited historically because most organizations have not known how to measure it.“
Indicators of Technical Debt
"I know if I touch the code, it will never work again"
ToDo/Fixme: has to be fixed before release!
"The release is nearby. Let's finish this quickly"
Cost of Change
Cost of Change
Optimal CoC
Technical Debt
Customer Responsiveness
Once on the far right curve all choices are hard

If nothing is done it gets worse

In applications with high Technical Debt, estimating is nearly impossible
Mainly based on static code analysis and unit tests
For estimations, average times of the past are used
Automation of tool chains and report generation
Sonar infrastructure available
Baseline your project - ensure that trend keep level of technical debt
Duplication: warn at 2%, error at 4%
Test coverage: warn at 95%, error at 80%
Unit test success: 100%
Critical code rule violations: error at 1
Comments [%]: range of 20% - 40%
Statement of Cutter Consortium
The Devasting Impact of Technical Debt
Dr.-Ing. Alexander Burst

Overall Rating
Technical Debt
per Line of Code ($/LOC)
New Code
Legacy Code
Generated Code
We usually see code between a range of $2 to $10 per LOC
Exclude it from analysis
Wouldn't strive for perfection
but rather $1 per LOC
A sweeping statement of legacy
code would $4 per LOC as a good
Simply leave it and don't invest further
-> exclude from analysis
Configuration and Visualization
Motivation and Measurement
Aggregating Technical Debt in form of money gives management the opportunity to understand it in their own language
Code Analysis
Quality Deficits
Time to fix per Deficit
Aggregate time to fix
Aggregate $ to fix
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