Software practitioners’ point of view on technical debt payment




artículo original


Freire, Sávio
Rios, Nicolli
Pérez, Boris
Castellanos, Camilo
Correal, Darío
Ramač, Robert
Mandić, Vladimir
Taušan, Nebojša
López Herrera, Gustavo
Pacheco Hernández, Alexia

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Context: Technical debt (TD) payment refers to the activity of expending maintenance effort and resources to make up for the effects of previous technical compromises. Aims: To investigate if software practitioners have paid debt items off in their projects, the practices that have been used for paying off debt items, and the issues that hamper the implementation of these practices. Method: We analyze 653 responses collected by surveying practitioners from six countries about TD payment. Results: Practitioners have not paid off TD items in most cases. We identified 27 reasons for not paying off those items and 32 payment-related practices. Practices are mainly related to internal quality issues, while reasons for not paying TD off are mostly associated with planning and management issues. Lastly, we identified relationships between practices and between reasons, indicating that both can appear in combination. Conclusion: We use different views to consolidate the set of information on TD payment, extending the conceptual model for TD and organizing the set of practices and reasons into a TD payment map. We believe that the model and the map can support practitioners in planning their TD payment strategy.


Palabras clave

Technical debt (TD), Technical debt payment, Technical debt management, SOFTWARE