Overcoming technical debt through better app development

Overcoming technical debt through better app development

on May 8, 14 • by Chris Bubinas • with No Comments

Technical debt is a growing problem in the development landscape, though it is often misunderstood...

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The Agile movement in today's application development landscape is focused on using automation as well as other technologies and strategies to streamline the process without compromising the outcome of software. The concept of "technical debt" arises when organizations do not take the time to write applications properly, which will ultimately force teams to undergo code refactoring procedures in which employees fix any problems. This results in a waste of time and energy.

In a recent TechTarget report, software expert Robin Goldsmith highlighted some of the challenges associated with embracing the Agile movement without incurring too much technical debt. Unfortunately, Goldsmith asserted that most people really only understand the surface level of technical debt, as these problems go beyond simply allocating more time and effort toward code refactoring. In many cases, these processes can create a mix of priorities, convoluting what needs to be done.

Goldsmith said businesses need to rethink testing to make sure they do not encounter substantial problems in the long run. Because testing takes up a significant portion of the overall application development cycle, executives should be sure they tackle these endeavors correctly the first time, which would allow them to avoid unnecessarily wasting time and money fixing a problem that could have otherwise been avoided.

A new development strategy
One of the biggest challenges facing application developers is testing, as many of those processes are inaccurate. This is because employees will consciously develop tests after the code has been written, creating the tests around the way the software was initially built, not how it is supposed to function. Goldsmith recommends avoiding the challenges brought about by these processes by embracing a test-first development strategy.

A test-first program requires developers to construct tests before the code is written. This means that the evaluations will not be subconsciously bent around the way the code was created and instead will provide an unbiased view of the application's performance and functionality. Taking this approach can be extremely helpful for organizations that often waste time going back and adjusting software once it has already been created and launched.

The emerging mobile landscape is putting an increasingly heavy burden on developers throughout the business world, as employees – and consumers – are using mobile-based solutions more frequently than ever before. This means that if an application is deployed and does not live up to expectations, companies will disappoint and potentially lose end-users simply because the software was not built correctly the first time around.

While code refactoring solutions can aid the challenges brought on by technical debt, decision-makers should ultimately try to avoid these problems, which can lead to financial and operational difficulties. As the application environment continues to evolve and change, developers will need to be as efficient as possible to meet performance expectations. By planning ahead and rethinking the application testing process, companies may be able to improve their odds of success and reduce unnecessary complications.

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