Tech debt is a problem shared by many organizations. Thankfully, there are some effective ways of dealing with it. One of them is by involving your DevOps team – let’s find out how to do it.
Tech debt – a short definition
Before we look at how DevOps can help you deal with your tech debt, here’s a little refresher on what tech debt is. Technical debt describes the cost of maintaining software developed using shortcuts rather than best practices. For more info, look at our blog Technical debt – all you need to know.
According to a report by Gartner, through 2023 I&O leaders who actively manage and reduce technical debt will achieve at least 50% faster service delivery times to the business. On the other hand, as proved by Stripe, IT engineers spend 33% of their time dealing with tech debt, so it is worth looking at how to deal with it quickly and efficiently, using the resources you already have.
DevOps and tech debt
It may not come as a surprise that your DevOps team can significantly contribute to your dealings with tech debt by:
- promoting a culture of collaboration and open communication between development and operations teams,
- automating some of the error-prone and time-consuming tasks,
- monitoring and improving the performance and stability of systems.
Here are some details on what exactly your DevOps team can do to help you manage and reduce your technical debt:
1. Early testing and continued testing
Testing applications in the early stages of their development allows us to find bugs and prevent them from happening in the later process. Apart from bug prevention, regular tests conducted during the software development process (such as unit tests, and static code analysis code coverage analysis) make the code design better and more understandable, which translates into better usability and fewer errors in the application. In consequence, it has a massive impact on reducing tech debt.
Automation is strictly linked to DevOps, and automating some error-prone, tedious tasks can have a massive impact not only on early bug detection but also on much better code quality. Automated testing such as unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing can ensure that new code changes do not introduce regression and that the overall quality of the codebase is maintained.
When you automate some of the time-consuming tasks, you can make use of the time you saved to take care of your existing tech debt: to identify it and repay it. What’s more, automation embedded into CI/CD processes (with automated testing and automated builds) contributes to the early detection of tech debt and allows for continuous repayment of it.
3. Ensuring better collaboration between development and operations teams
Better collaboration between your dev and ops teams allows for better communication, faster deployment, and more frequent code reviews (for example after a sprint in Agile), which means fewer shortcuts and less tech debt consequence. What’s more, establishing such good collaborations between the teams has a massive impact on the work ethic and on implementing the best practice approach.
4. Identifying problems at an early stage and solving them immediately
DevOps way of working means shorter cycles and faster iterations. This means any problems or bugs get detected and fixed immediately, which allows for lowering tech debt or eliminating it.