William Blankenship
Stop Saying Technical Debt!

Problems with Technical Debt

Debt is a Four Letter Word

Technical debt is a negative word. It immediately frames the work as shitty but necessary.

Nobody likes technical debt. Very few people appreciate the work necessary to address technical debt. Most people don’t want to work on addressing technical debt, because the people around them don’t appreciate that work!

Debt is the Wrong Word

The word “debt” carries with it a ton of cruft that has no business being in the conversation when talking about tooling, architecture, etc.

Let’s look at the definition of debt:

2 : something owed : OBLIGATION
3 : a state of being under obligation to pay or repay someone or something in return for something received : a state of owing
4 law, business : the common-law action for the recovery of money held to be due

The first definition implies that you’ve done something wrong, and you must account for your transgressions. But who have you transgressed? The co


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