Persnickety coding style problems, a bit of copy and paste, incorrect variable and method naming, coding that does not adhere to the standards, and trivial bug issues are irritating. However, these technical debts (TDs) are not worth monitoring. You can take care of such problems in daily opportunistic refactoring. When you code the next time, you should clean up erroneous coding. If you do not, then nobody will. It will not cost you anything. Even if you choose to be complacent and think such problems do not exist, nothing bad will happen to you.

According to an article published on, focusing unnecessarily on TD affects the product, customers, and engineering teams adversely. However, some TDs are bad. For instance, Heartbleed must not appear even in your backlog. You must fix it right away. Ensure that you can create a patched library immediately. All things other than this are of less priority. If the software has a new version and a few bug fixes, it does not matter. Avoid upgrading for the heck of it because it is a sheer waste of time. There are possibilities that you will come across new issues with no or little result. Read on to learn why you should not waste time tracking TD. 

When You’re Unaware of TD

Do you know which is the scariest of TDs? It is that you are unaware of, which you did take on without knowing. It happens when you do not know about the same. You ended by making some poor design decisions, and you were in the dark as to how to use the software framework in the right way. You did not know how to shield against the major security threats. Such TDs should not be on the backlog. If there are new developments, like someone with more knowledge and experience joining your development team, or facing hacking issues, or you are audited, such debts might come to the surface all of a sudden. Else, TDs keep accumulating behind the scenes without you knowing about them. 

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TDs too Big to Manage 

You will find other TDs that are hard to cope with and debt that you took on too fast, making an incorrect guess or decision. It may be possible that you did not know that you were wrong, but now you realized. You or someone else chose the wrong language, architecture, technology stack, and framework. You find that the system fails to scale or has an unreliable under load, rife with security loopholes, which are hard to change. It is not possible to refractor out of this. All you can do is put up with the issues as best as you can, or begin from scratch. Tracking TDs on your backlog is nothing but a futile effort. 

Solve Now or Never 

You resorted to shortcuts to roll out the code for quick feedback such as prototyping and A/B testing. There is a possibility that you will need to write the code again or throw away the same. Therefore, why fret overwriting the code for the very first time. These TDs are strategic ones, which you can take on and at least for some time. If you have more questions about TD, you can visit sites like You tried to fix bugs under pressure but failed to do so in the right way. You wanted to get it done quickly, and the results are far from satisfactory. 

Code Works but Hacked 

You find that the code is working fine, but it is hacked. You copied too much and pasted excessively. You did not care to follow the rules, conventions, and guidelines. You did not review the code, did not perform code testing or tried any one of these methods. All you did is leaving the same in some debugging code, and therefore you will have a tough to maintain it. 

Get the Job Done Soon

You need to get the coding right soon, clean it up, and rewrite in a couple of weeks or months. Else, there is a possibility that TDs will never get paid down. The more it stays, difficult it is for to validate or doing anything about the same. Moreover, if it is working fine and all have other jobs to do, why track in the first place? The need for doing something about the same will fail. And if it continues like this, you will eventually forget about the same. Whenever you see it unsolved, you will feel bad, but you will overcome that feeling. 

Fret not. If you are fortunate, the TD will get paid down without your knowledge. An individual may refractor some coding when altering, or may even remove the same because the features are obsolete now. This way, the TD will vanish from the code base, though it is still visible on your books. 

Avoid Monitoring TD, Manage the Same Well

You may feel that monitoring TD is the most reasonable thing you can do. If you fail to track it, you will never know about its scope. However, what things you register in your backlog shall never be correct, foolproof, or complete. You will never know how much TD you have because of some hidden debt that you take in without your knowledge. You can be in the dark if you do not understand the nature of the TD or have not discovered it yet. 

If you are not ready to do some tracking of your TD, it is a sheer waste of time for all. Therefore, only keep track of debt that the product owner and the team agree that it must be paid off. Once you are sure of this, you can pay the same off as soon as possible. Maybe within one, two, or three sprints, you can pay off. If not, choose to ignore the same. Take some time out to refractor instead of creating a huge backlog. It does not mean that you are irresponsible. Instead, it is all about being sensible. 


Now you know that you should not track TD, but make an effort to manage it well. TD is a reality for all application development teams. Ensure that it does not go out of your control.

Posted by Steven

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