Technical Debt

TechCrunch (emphasis mine):

Technical debt is not always a bad thing, but if you accrue too much of it, it will kill you. When under schedule pressure, or when new devs keep coming onto and going off a project, people tend to build new software subsystems and connect them to the old ones Rube-Goldberg style, instead of doing it right.

It’s very important to define how to do it right for your team because it varies from developer to developer, project to project. If you do not define it, each one of your developers could end up doing different “right” things. Here’s another story from the same author about technical debt. This time he offered how to get out of it:

What can you do if you’ve already run up a load of technical debt? First, get your head out of the sand and accept that you have a major problem. Second, stop digging. Stop adding new features, and get things into a semi-stable state so that you can see what you do and don’t have.

Hiring the right people does not completely mitigate technical debt. You have to complement it by adapting a framework and strictly following it. Make sure to put some teeth in your framework by getting managers on board and engaged. Penalise the offenders and reward consistent developers.