Technical Debt: From Metaphor to Theory and Practice


Thu 16:00-17:00, Location: Saanich Room 

Technical debt is a metaphor that software developers and managers increasingly use to communicate key tradeoffs related to release and quality issues. Clearly technical debt is an issue at the heart of the software maintenance research community, although topics may appear under different names. Technical debt research, in fact, benefits from decades of ongoing work in maintenance-related areas, such as: software aging and decay, software metrics, prediction and estimation, release planning, and architecture. Industry's increasing interest in concrete practices, and the emergence of organization-specific practices, can be seen as indications that industry needs clearly defined approaches for managing technical debt, to deal with issues such as evolution, strategic resource management, and bridging the stakeholder communication gap. This panel will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss and debate strategies for managing debt and how to focus research on critical industry problems. Philippe Kruchten, University of British Columbia, will facilitate. Panelists include: Paul Anderson, GrammaTech; Arie van Deursen, Delft University of Technology; Robert Eisenberg, Lockheed Martin; Nicholas Kraft, ABB; and Ipek Ozkaya, Software Engineering Institute.

Panel Organizers

 Philippe Kruchten 
University of British Columbia, Canada
 Robert L. Nord
Software Engineering Institute, USA
 Ipek Ozkaya
Software Engineering Institute, USA
 Carolyn Seaman
University of Maryland, Baltimore, USA