Welcome to Network. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!The article links tech debt to financial debt early on, and this is exactly what the analogy is – it is best to be as literal as possible about it.
What is good debt? It’s taking money from someone, promising to pay them back more money in the future, and using the original money to make even more money than that, so both you and the lender profit.
Good tech debt is just the same. It’s taking shortcuts now to save time and get something shipped, knowing that it will cost you more time than you’re saving now to fix it later. But by shipping now, you ensure there is a later, with a product that’s out there and being used, a bigger team and therefore adequate time and then some to fix the debt and keep improving the product. Everyone wins.
That’s the theory anyway. I think mostly where it goes awry in the wild is people forgetting the paying it off part. Part of this deal is you have to pay back your lender – they have to win too. It’s just easily forgotten because you’re the lender, so the incentives get a bit conflicted, and you’ll keep giving yourself more time. But if the lender ultimitely doesn’t get paid back and loses, you lose, and it’s a bad debt.