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


On 2/11/2020 3:09 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.

A prime example is sending code to production without automated tests.

> You pay off that debt when you
> sink time into something in order to make it easier to work on in the
> future.

In May 2013, idlelib had no test suite, no test/test_idle.py, and a few 
non-unittest unit tests.  Coverage is now somewhere around 50% and 
tested modules are much easier to work with.

> 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.

Without automated tests, every little change required manual testing and 
carried a non-zero chance of a regression.

-- 
Terry Jan Reedy