Impact of Architectural Technical Debt on Daily Software Development Work - A Survey of Software Practitioners
Paper in proceedings, 2017
— The negative consequences of Technical Debt is an area of increasing interest, and more specifically the Architectural aspects of it have received increased attention in the last few years. Besides the negative effects of Architectural Technical Debt on the overall software product quality in terms of hindering evolution and causing high maintenance costs, Architectural Technical Debt also has a significant negative impact on software practitioners’ daily work. Although a great deal of theoretical work on Architectural Technical Debt has been undertaken, there is a lack of empirical studies that examine the negative effects of Architectural Technical Debt during the software development lifecycle. The aim of this study is to investigate how practitioners perceive and estimate the impact of Architectural Technical Debt during the software development process. This paper reports the results of an online web survey providing quantitative data from 258 participants. The contribution of this paper is threefold: First, it shows that practitioners experience that the Architectural type of Technical Debt has the highest negative impact on daily software development work. Secondly, we provide evidence that does not support the commonly held belief that Architectural Technical Debt increases with the age of the software. Thirdly, we show that despite different responsibilities and working tasks of software professionals, Architectural Technical Debt negatively affects all roles without any significant difference between the roles.
Architectural Technical Debt