Cover Page by Kenneth S. Rubin

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Chapter 8. Technical Debt

In this chapter I discuss the concept of technical debt. I begin by defining technical debt, which encompasses naive debt, unavoidable debt, and deliberate debt. Next I examine some common causes of technical debt and the consequences of accruing high levels of debt. I then describe three activities associated with technical debt: managing the accrual of technical debt, making technical debt visible, and servicing technical debt. I specifically emphasize how to apply these activities when using Scrum.

Overview

Ward Cunningham was the first to write about the concept of technical debt (Cunningham 1992). He defined it as follows:

Shipping first time code is like going into debt. A little debt speeds development so long ...

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