Reduce your technical debt and build better software products, faster and cheaper

Better software
Reducing technical debt is key for both people who make software and those who use it. Technical debt means extra work because earlier, simpler solutions were chosen over better ones. This can make software harder to update or fix later on.

In this article we'll talk about how technical debt happens, why it's important to keep it low, and how a company called Uniscale helps tackle this issue. Their approach saves time and money, makes products ready faster, and cuts down on how much you spend on fixing and updating software.

After reading this article, you should have a clear understanding of what technical debt is, the importance of minimizing it, and how Uniscale's innovative approach can help you achieve a more sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient software development lifecycle.

Understanding technical debt

The term “technical debt” refers to the additional development work and complications that arise from choosing quick and easy solutions over optimal long-term solutions. The term was coined by American software developer Ward Cunningham, co-author of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

Just like monetary debt, technical debt is not inherently dangerous. Taking on a certain amount of technical debt might even be necessary to move your projects forward. Imagine trying to buy a home or a car if mortgages or car loans were not a thing; very few people would have been able to afford such significant life purchases without taking on debt. Similarly, taking on some technical debt allows projects to move forward that might otherwise stall from lack of immediate resources or solutions.

Like any debt, however, technical debt accumulates “interest” and becomes more expensive to “repay” over time. Initially, the decision to take a shortcut or opt for a quicker, less optimal solution in software development might seem to save time or resources. Yet, just like taking out a mortgage or car loan, the commitment to future payments increases over time—that is, in the form of increased maintenance costs, decreased code quality, and a reduced ability to efficiently implement new features or fix bugs.

Whether you're deeply embedded in the technical side of software development or you're looking at it from a business perspective, understanding how to manage technical debt is essential for ensuring the long-term success of your software products. It's about striking a balance, much like managing a loan, ensuring that you can still achieve your immediate goals without compromising your financial health—or in the case of software, product health—in the long term.

Technical debt is an inevitable part of software development, but there are ways to mitigate and reduce its impact on your organization.

Strategies for reducing technical debt

Build it right the first time

The foundation of managing technical debt lies in creating software that aligns closely with functional requirements and customer needs from the start. Misalignment here often necessitates costly reworks. Ensuring clarity in what needs to be built and why it matters sets a project on the right path, minimizing the need for future corrections.

Eliminate friction from collaboration

Effective collaboration can significantly reduce technical debt. Issues often arise from miscommunication or inconsistent terminology among teams, particularly in organizations with remote teams or heavy use of external consultants. Streamlining communication and ensuring everyone uses the same language and tools can prevent misunderstandings that lead to technical debt. Regular meetings and shared documentation platforms can aid in synchronizing team efforts.

Align your stakeholders early

Technical debt can also stem from a disconnect between different teams, such as the commercial and product teams. Ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice and understand each other's needs and constraints from the beginning can prevent misaligned objectives and the resulting rework.

Reduce the human factor

Human errors are inevitable but can be minimized. Automating repetitive tasks like generating technical documentation or software development kits (SDKs) can significantly reduce the risk of mistakes that contribute to technical debt. Automation can handle these tasks more consistently and accurately than humans.

Embrace version control

Version control is essential not just for source code but for all critical project components. It ensures that everyone is working with the latest versions, reducing confusion and errors that can lead to technical debt. Embracing version control for more than your source code ensures that changes are tracked and reversible if necessary.

Track and monitor your dependencies

Dependencies can be a source of technical debt, especially if they become outdated or if newer versions are incompatible with parts of your project. Keeping a close eye on your software dependencies, understanding their impact, and planning for updates can prevent potential issues from becoming costly debts.

Promote reusability

Developing reusable components can save time and resources, reducing technical debt in the process. When functionality is modular and reusable, it not only speeds up development but also ensures consistency across different parts of a project or even across multiple projects. This approach fosters efficiency and cost-effectiveness, especially for software that operates across various markets or platforms.

Building sustainable software with Uniscale

At the heart of Uniscale's approach to reducing technical debt is the establishment of a robust architectural foundation. Our platform ensures your project is built on a foundation that not only meets current requirements but is also designed to minimize technical debt over time. The key is to secure alignment between functional requirements, customer needs, and your implementation. This focus on long-term maintainability, scalability, and adaptability means your software can evolve seamlessly with customer and market demands, without the usual costs and delays.

Proactively reducing technical debt

Uniscale's standardized specification management and generative AI rule engine are key to avoiding the ambiguities and inconsistencies that lead to technical debt. Our approach ensures a cleaner, more maintainable product description that aligns with your long-term commercial goals.

Ensuring better product sign-off before investment

Making informed investment decisions is crucial in software development. Uniscale facilitates a structured approval process, ensuring that specifications are clear and services functionality is accurately agreed upon by all stakeholders. This not only mitigates financial risks but also promotes commercial success by preventing unnecessary expenditure on rectifying avoidable mistakes.

Domain-driven and no-code generated SDK

Uniscale employs a domain-driven, no-code generated SDK approach, keeping stakeholders aligned through a single source of truth. This reduces misunderstandings and miscommunication throughout product iterations, ensuring uniform semantics, enhanced compliance, decreased technical debt, and lower development and future maintenance costs.

Managing technical debt is not just about fixing problems as they arise; it's about preventing them in the first place. 

Uniscale empowers you to build better software products, faster and cheaper, by automating processes, adopting smarter strategies, and ensuring that every step of the development process is aligned with your long-term success.

By choosing Uniscale, you're not just investing in software development; you're investing in the future-proofing of your product.

Start using Uniscale today.
Avoid rework and align your product with customer expectations