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Technical debt - was Re: datetime seems to be broken WRT timezones (even when you add them)

On Wed, Feb 12, 2020 at 11:39 AM Michael Torrie <torriem at> wrote:
> On 2/11/20 1:09 PM, Chris Angelico wrote:
> > What you're talking about is costs in general, but "debt" is a very
> > specific term. You accrue technical debt whenever you "borrow" time
> > from the future - doing something that's less effort now at the
> > expense of being worse in the future. You pay off that debt when you
> > sink time into something in order to make it easier to work on in the
> > future. The most common form of technical debt is legacy code, where
> > you often end up paying interest on the debt every time you dip your
> > toes into the code to make a small change, avoiding the work of
> > actually refactoring things and fixing the problems.
> It's all just different ways of accounting for the same things. In the
> olden days before the term "technical debt" was invented, we called this
> "total cost of ownership." This not only included the up front cost, but
> the on-going (and potentially increasing) cost of maintenance, and often
> even the future cost of migrating to a new solution.  So in the end it's
> all the same: cost.  And it's never paid off.  Ever.  That's why I've
> recently come to question the usefulness of the term "technical debt."

Yes, if you consider the term to be synonymous with TCO, then
naturally you'll see it as useless. But it isn't. Technical debt is a
very specific thing and it CAN be paid off.