Become A Technical Debt Detective

and get your software development team unstuck

You get a course of 10 video lessons on Udemy that takes you from zero to Technical Debt Detective, containing 55 minutes of videos, with downloadable transcripts, real world case studies and activities to relate the course to your own company.

Managers of Software Development companies

Find out what technical debt means and why you need to care

This course is designed for you if you are a manager or project manager in a software company or if you’re involved in managing software product development in any way.

You do not need to be a software developer to understand this course!

Find out the hidden reasons your development projects are taking longer and longer

  • Know what technical debt means
  • be able to explain to non technical people  in your company what the term technical debt means in the software industry and how it impacts on the entire software company
  • Be able to recognise the symptoms of technical debt in your own workplace
  • Know whether Technical Debt has become a problem that is affecting your ability to meet your customers needs or hampering your growth in the market
  • Know the four most common places to look for technical debt
  • know where to look for technical debt in your software company, and some of the reasons it arises.
  • Feel confident discussing the impact of technical debt with your development team, and capable of differentiating between a desire to use new technologies for their own sake, and updating parts of the software that are really costing you more than they should be
  • Real world case studies bring the problems alive and help you relate them to your own situation.  Learning from others’ mistakes is the least painful way to learn.

Identify the common symptoms of technical debt

  • Are features taking longer to develop in your software than they used to?
  • Are your customers reporting increasing numbers of bugs?
  • Are you spending more and more hours on testing your product? 

The underlying cause is probably to do with technical debt, and recognising the root cause problem is the first step to solving it.  This course will arm you with the information you need to recognise technical debt in your software development organisation, and know where to start looking for it.  

Armed with this knowledge you will be in a strong position to negotiate for the resource you need to deal with it. 

Course Contents

Section 1 - What is Technical Debt and how do I know it when I see it?

Introduction

This lesson introduces the course with the question ‘What Is Technical Debt?’. 

On completing this lecture you will know some of the common problems that are caused by technical debt in real world software companies, and which types of companies are affected.

What does technical debt mean?

After completing this lecture you will be able to explain what the term technical debt means in the software industry. 

You will have a useful and practical definition of technical debt that covers all the types of technical debt you need to be aware of as a manager in a software company. 

You will know where the term Technical Debt came from, what it means, and how it applies to the software industry today.

Case Study - An e-commerce company

Sometimes the easiest way to illustrate an idea is by example.  In this lecture you will see a real world example of an e-commerce company struggling with technical debt, and find out how much an early design flaw in the software ended up costing them 10 years later.

After completing this lesson you will feel more confident discussing the impact of technical debt with your development team.

Symptoms of technical debt

In this module we look at the visible symptoms in your company that indicate the presence of technical debt in your software.

After completing this lecture you will be able to recognise the symptoms of technical debt in your own organisation and identify whether Technical Debt has become a problem that is affecting your ability to meet your customers needs or hampering your growth in the market.

Case Study - a global software as a service company

In this case study we look at a real world example of a large software as a service company who are struggling with a lot of symptoms of technical debt. 

You will start to be able to differentiate between a desire to use new technologies for their own sake, and updating parts of the software that are really costing you more than they should be

Section 2 - Where to look for technical debt?

Introduction

In this lesson we are going to look at the different places technical debt can be hiding in an organisation and where to start looking for it in your software company.

After completing this lesson you will know where to begin to look for technical debt in a software company.

Technical debt in code

In this lesson we take a closer look at technical debt within software code and some of the reasons it arises.

Technical debt in software architecture

In this lesson we take a closer look at how the overall software architecture can result in technical debt.

Technical debt in the underlying technology

In this lesson we take a closer look at how the overall software architecture can result in technical debt.

Social technical debt

In this lesson we will take a look at some non-technical causes of technical debt!

Course Summary

This is the final module of the course, where we pull together everything that we’ve been talking about. 

After completing this course You will feel confident discussing the impact of technical debt with your development team, and your colleagues and you will be capable of differentiating between a desire to use new technologies for their own sake, and updating parts of the software that are really costing you more than they should be.

Helen Abell

Picture of Helen Abell

I’m the CEO and Founder of Chaos On Toast, a software consultancy dedicated to helping software companies with their legacy code and technical debt. 

I’ve worked in the software industry for 30 years now, and seen it all.  I have managed development projects and worked with many development teams in all these scenarios.

I know how it feels to be under pressure to deliver, staying up all night to ensure a software release goes well for customers and playing whack-a-mole with bugs following a rushed release, I understand why it happens, I’ve been there.  Balancing the business priorities between ensuring future development won’t be compromised and getting the next release out now is a problem common to all software companies.

What you will get from this course

Armed with this knowledge you will be able to assess where your company is on the timeline,  and make informed decisions on when and how much of development resource you need to allocate to paying down your technical debt to avoid more serious problems down the line. 

 

Once you start to see the invisible mountain of technical debt your team are climbing, you will be better able to negotiate for the resources you need to scale the mountain and start paying off your technical debt instead of racking up more and more interest without knowing where it is coming from.