Technical Debt & Student Loans

Q: What does “technical debt” mean, and how might it apply to Salesforce development?

If you took out a student loan, you likely already have an intimate knowledge of how expensive interest can be, especially if allowed to accrue over time.

In the world of software development, there’s a debt equivalent, and it too accrues interest. It’s called technical debt, and in essence it refers to the fact that unresolved issues during the software development process can make it more difficult to implement new features or changes in the future — just like accrued interest makes it more difficult to pay down your loan.

Particularly in large organizations utilizing Salesforce which have hundreds or thousands of users, across different apps, with tens or hundreds of custom objects and custom applications and integrations, technical debt can pose a very significant challenge and require huge resources to overcome.

To negate technical debt before it starts, or in our metaphor, to get a very low interest rate from the get-go, we must remain vigilant. The following principles (that should always apply, honestly) must be adhered to strictly: providing good test coverage, modularizing code and designing to reduce complexity, and always providing good documentation

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