IMHO technical dept is kind of like smoking cigarettes for some decades.

You were told that shit will hit the fan but you do not take proper action. And one day you'll realize that you fucked up (or not, also seen that).

Worked for a company in IT, where we maintained an ERP which was "in progress" for over a decade. The basic implementation was done by people with zero technical understanding. To clarify: not self coded. Software was bought. We are talking about integrating the system.

Therefore, the foundation was like a wet noodle. When I joined that company, I told them that they need to address that. I told them that things will get slower and slower and that shit will hit the fan if no proper actions taken.
Even made a list with flaws I found. With potential risk and actions to take, that could then be measured.

At that time, five people worked in said department (including me).

People did not want to listen. "Would be too expensive to rewrite stuff".

Nothing has changed about the wet noodle, but I tried to fix as many things in a working system as I could. Felt like heart surgery, because changes got implemented and "tested" in prod. No version control, no documentation, everyone implemented things like they felt (no guidelines for consistency).
A lot of small fuckups that summed up over the years.

I left the company after two years because I had the chance to land a job as a dev.

Been around two years now since I left. Now 9 people work in that department with around the same efficiency as us 5 people back then.

The new employees struggle to be productive, because things are just implemented poorly and not maintainable anymore.

Had some dialogs with them some time ago. Everything I told them would happen, actually happened. What a suprise :-|
I will not go into too much detail about all the shit that's going on there, as it would be just too much (and my morning coffe is almost finished).

I think that we all know the difference between "not beautiful, but does the job" and "oh, that will backfire - badly". And I wish that my communication skills increase so that people start listening in future.

  • 5
    There are enough people that you can't persuade to not fuck up even with speech lvl 100 ..
  • 2
    @ElectroArchiver seems like that :S often have the impression that people tend to protect their shit and feel offended when talked about.
  • 2
    If there are nine devs now, one of them could just do refactoring full time and slowly heal the project from the chronic techdebt.
  • 0
    @Oktokolo not if the other 8 are still fucking up the system like headless chicken.
  • 0
    @nebula Sure. But if they just do maintenance and new features without fucking up the system even more, it should work.
  • 0
    @Oktokolo agreed. but they would need to define some rules first on how the system should look like.
  • 1
    @nebula Yeah, that is the hard part of having more than one dev ;)
  • 1
    I heard somewhere that "it's very expensive to build bad software". Very fitting in this case. Just invest the damn time for refactoring!

    In the end, if your product is 2+ years old and has multiple people working on it on a daily basis, it will be well worth it!
    Caring about a weeks delay over the product timespan of 2+ years is short term thinking, that can only result in a big mess.
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