Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Empirical study on technical debt as viewed by software practitioners
by Taksande, Nitin, M.S., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2011, 106; 1506267
Abstract (Summary)

The "Technical Debt" metaphor is gaining recognition in the software development community, not only to communicate the debt to the non-technical stakeholders but also to maintain the long term health of the software project. The idea is that software practitioners accept compromises in the project in some magnitude to meet demand in other dimensions. The compromises in the system incur a "debt" which has to be repaid at some point for the long term health of the project. If the debt remains unpaid, it could incur more additional costs, in terms of software that is harder to change and more error prone. This pain is most evident to the software practitioners, as they are the ones' who have to deal with these problems at the code level.

We have conducted an interview study of software practitioners to analyze and understand how they face this debt and how they manage it. The result of this study identifies the characteristics, causes, and approaches for management of technical debt. As a result of analysis of the data for this study we also present several models of the cause and effect of different types of technical debt. These models also provide an understanding upon which approaches to track, measure, quantify and monitor technical debt can be developed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Seaman, Carolyn
Commitee: Hurst, Amy, Sampath, Sreedevi
School: University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Department: Information Systems
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: MAI 50/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Information science, Computer science
Keywords: Interview study, Qualitative research, Software maintenance, Software project management, Software quality, Technical debt
Publication Number: 1506267
ISBN: 978-1-267-17565-6
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