‘Technical debt’ is a brilliantly concise metaphor coined by Ward Cunningham back in the 1990’s that cannily describes the behaviour of software and surrounding processes implemented in the real world of limited costs and time. The debt refers to work undone, which either must eventually be undertaken by subsequent projects or managed through ever more intricate workarounds. The debt is hidden, so that projects typically uncover it late in their development cycle or once they are in production. The problem with technical debt is not system failure so much as system calcification. As more demands are made of a system already mired in technical debt, projects to meet those demands become increasingly unpredictable, expensive and compromised.
When systems fall within a defined domain, technical debt can often be wiped clean by replacing the whole application. However when systems exist in poorly defined domains, when those domains are permitted to morph over time, and particularly when core components of such systems are considered “mission critical”, the result can be Leviathan: so difficult to conquer that settling for frustrating idiosyncrasies becomes the only option. This accurately describes whole swaths of the Canadian brokerage industry, making it an ideal case study for the concept of ‘Insurmountable Technical Debt’.
Join Dan Brennan, a 30-year veteran of legacy applications in the Canadian brokerage industry, as he discusses real life examples within the brokerage leaders in Canada and the techniques that have helped manage through these problems.
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Join us on 27 January 2014:
- 6 PM MDT/8 PM EDT – Click here to register