Picture of Matt Whetton
    Pronouns: He/Him
    Talk Length: 60 mins

We need to talk about technical debt

Technical debt is a popular metaphor used in most delivery teams. It’s a powerful way to describe complicated problems, convey the importance of building things right, and describes the cumulative effect of taking shortcuts. As engineers we all appreciate why preventing and paying down technical debt is important, but its often not something ‘the business’ really appreciates or seemingly cares about.

More and more we see the backlog sliced in 2 different sections, the first being the business value adding work, the second being the technical debt work. This is also accompanied with some kind of rule that says ‘we can spend 10% of our time on technical debt’. It always feels like technical debt is just ‘something the devs go on about’, and not something that adds business value.

This talk is to try to convince you to think about technical debt differently and eliminate it from your backlogs. To do this we’ll have to explore what ends up in the technical debt bucket, why its such a problem and what we can do about it. We’ll also talk about risk, the part it has to play and how it should be your best friend when managing complicated problem domains and systems. My goal is make risk exciting, useful and fundamental in what we do….which may sound crazy, but just stick with me!

Technical debt shouldn’t be something just the dev’s care about, its something everyone should care about.

About Matt

Chief Technology Officer at Oakbrook Finance

Matt is the Chief Technology Officer at Oakbrook Finance but is ultimately an engineer at heart. Having worked in a variety of engineering roles, across a variety industries, he has spent the last 10 years or so working in the financial service industry.

You will find Matt talking, writing or just generally rambling about those subjects he’s most passionate about such as innovation culture, the craft of engineering, breaking down the control barriers around engineers and unleashing engineer creativity. He might also talk about comics now and again too!


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