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6 Tips to Escape Technical Debt through Smart and Agile Methodology

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6 Tips to Escape Technical Debt through Smart and Agile Methodology
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Traditional software applications, focuses on the phase-oriented approach to develop software. That is because every product goes via the alpha, beta, as well as golden versions. Every product release starts with the inclusion of new features when a few lingering issues of the previous release are recognized and corrected.

The cycle of development touches the alpha stage when individual features are applied using meticulous testing. When you fix the bugs, the beta stage begins and you even out the bugs through customer feedback.

However, with each bug eliminated, new ones come into existence, forcing a situation of hit-a-mole. Until and unless no bugs are opened, the golden master (GM) goal is realized, and new trivial problems are pushed for subsequent release.


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According to an article published on https://www.huffingtonpost.com, continuous improvement is necessary for technical debt (TD) so that each product survives in the long term. If you keep delaying fixing bugs, it is a risky way to develop software.

With the increase in bug count, managing it becomes extremely difficult leading to the death of TD. Things get worse; schedules get disrupted as coding surrounding the bug decelerates the development process. Then, how do you escape Technical Debt through agile methodology? Here are six tips to help you:

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1. Look out for Sprints and Tasks

You will need to battle the desire to compromise the definition of ‘done.’ How would you do it? Well, it means including another testing job to the original story.

It may seem easy to postpone them and solely invite TD. When testing is not performed as an integral part of bug fixing, the bug fix or original story is not done.

Therefore, ensure that you keep up a rigid definition of done in the program and make sure that it incorporates full automated testing. Nothing affects your team’s speed more than manual testing and a code base full of bugs.

2. Define Development

Define Development

Many times, product managers and developers do not agree about the constituents of TD. And it means any technical shortcuts is taken to deliver on time. When it comes to the development side, they like to set apart architectural job as TD.

Now, this may or may not be true depending on what type of change it is. For example, it means substituting a shortcut with the actual solution vs. breaking a huge code base into micro-services.

On the contrary, product managers feel that developing new features is essential and urgent than fixing bugs or improving sluggish performance.

To prevent both sides from being overwhelmed about what the other side has said, all of them should understand the difference between desired architectural modifications in the code base, TD, and new features.

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Therefore, smooth communication is imperative between the product managers and developers to prioritize the backlog and develop the code base.

Make sure that you prioritize Technical Debt during sprint planning just as a normal feature task instead of concealing it in another backlog or issue tracker. If you want more information and want to read related blogs on Debt, consider visiting platforms like nationaldebtreliefprograms.com.

3. Perform an Automated Test

When a person identifies a bug in an application, take some time out of your busy schedule to include an automated test demonstrating the same.

When the bug is fixed, run the test to make sure that it passes the said test. It forms the crux of test-oriented development, which is a time-tested waytoensure quality in software development.

4. Change Your Team’s Old Approach

When you change the team’s traditional approach, it helps you escape TD. Make sure you educate the owner of the product how TD can be brought to zero. Tell your team to modularize the architecture with new libraries and elements. This way, you can broaden the agility of the new branches to the other parts of the code too.

5. Write Automated Tests

The best way to fix bugs is through automated tests. Therefore, you should prevent bugs by writing automated tests and constant integration.

When you discover a new bug, make sure to write a new test to replicate it, and then make an effort to fix the bug. When it appears again, the automated test will identify the bug before customers do.

6. Reduce TD through Agile Methods

Agile methodology ensures quality into the development process so that your team learns to manage a standard quality release repeatedly. When it comes to a traditional team, ‘Done,’signifies first-rate enough for a quality assessment.

The problem is that bugs appear during the release cycle, and they keep creeping constantly. Now, by the time the QA team works on it, the product has numerous defects.

However, professional teams with the right expertise define the right way when they release the product, implying that developers do not move to the subsequent story or work on another feature until their existing product comes into the hands of customers.

To move things fast, your team should use methods such as automated testing, feature branching workflows, and constant integration all through the development cycle.

Make sure that the main branch code is strong enough and is ready to be shipped. It should be the top priority of your software development team. Therefore, new features are included in the task branch and evaluated via automated tests.

Once all features are complete, and tests passed, you can combine the specific branch with the primary one. The quality of these results is high, thus keeping TD under your control.

Conclusion

For most businesses, these changes are colossal. However, with agile methodologies, the attention is not on the schedule, but towards the development of first-rate, bug-free application. With the scope of the release is diminished, there is no chance to compromise on the quality of the product.

When your team works with legacy code, it implies that you have some TD to manage. Make sure you tame an existing TD and motivate the team to pay heed to new development. It should be your priority leaving aside everything else. Technical Debt is a reality today. You need to control it if you cannot avoid it completely.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article 6 Tips to Escape Technical Debt through Smart and Agile Methodology was written by NaijaTechGuide Team. The article was last modified: January 16th, 2019