TETRA, a comprehensive platform to measure and reduce technical debt

February 27, 2018 White Papers

Here is a simple question: what is quality? Seems like an easy thing to explain. However, when you try, it does not look like a piece of cake. Some define quality as the level of customer satisfaction, others say it is about meeting the requirement of the customer. For those “living” in the tech world, it is the state of software being free from defects. To us, the latter is closer to the real world but… it’s so boring for customers. Of course, they want quality but consider it “granted”. As such, this “boring” subject is very often excluded from consideration and… budget. We decided to fix that by intensive research on what is the quality of a software product and how we can manage it efficiently. And we started with the replacement of a boring and almost undefined term, “quality”, by the techy but more meaningful “technical debt”. As such, we see the quality of a software product as amount of various technical debts embedded into the product and delivered to end-users, which we can clearly define and measure with the aim to eliminate or at least minimize it.

Industry best practices state that technical debt is any code added now that will take more work to fix at a later time, typically with the purpose of achieving rapid gains. The source code is really one of the most important things in the software. We perfectly know that the higher the number of problems in the source code, the more redevelopment is required. This is how the industry understands the technical debt and we all agree. However, having been tackling this for many years, we start thinking about technical debt in a different way. We have come to an idea that technical debt is “a combined product non-compliance with technical guidelines and business objectives that negatively impact business results.”

Having this in our minds, we spent more than 6000 hours of research, defining the critical dimensions of software product quality. These dimensions became the skeleton of our software product assessment methodology, which we called TETRA, Technical DebT Reduction plAtform.

How do we know what really matters in software products and can assess both technical and business sides? What are those dimensions? How can you benefit from in-depth product assessment? Fill out the form to learn more about technical debt reduction.

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