So what is “technical debt”? It’s a term to describe software development “that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer.”
Technical debt, might be development related. Due to project pressures code is not as clean as it could be and applications are developed in a way that will require rework in the future.
It could also be ERP System or hardware related, where updates or new releases are neglected thus making the conditions ripe for potential issues down the road.
It’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In any case, every time there are shortcuts taken a company starts taking on “technical debt”. At some point, this debt needs to be paid off. If it is not, the inevitable happens.
It turns into “technical bankruptcy”.
Technical bankruptcy is a point of no return for many organizations. It means that a company needs to start over. And that is a very vulnerable position for a company to be in.
Let’s shift gears and look at this from a different perspective. Your career.
I have spoken to thousands of AS/400 professionals over the course of my career, and I see a lot of really, good RPG Programmers who fall into “technical debt”.
They fall behind for any number of reasons:
- not enough time or resources
- no new development and/or projects
- systems are outdated
- no training
- lack of support to use modern coding techniques
It’s easy to fall into.
Here is the reality.
Your career, is your business. It needs to be treated like one.
Whatever the reasons, it is important that you don’t let “your career” go into technical debt. It can be hard to recover from if it goes on for too long.
There is good news. I believe it is an exciting time in the IBM i community. Organizations see there is a path forward and there is a big push to modernize legacy systems.
And this leads to opportunity.
Organizations who are committed to the platform need developers who embrace modern coding techniques, tools, and technology that run on the IBM i and POWER SYSTEMS.
This is a good thing.
On to this weeks issue on IT Modernization and Digital Transformation.
In The News
If your organization is looking for a training resource for anything to do with IBM i and RPG. Jim Buck and imPower Technologies couldn’t be a better solution. Jim is an IBM Champion and IBM i Certified Trainer and for the past 15 years, he has brought hundreds and hundreds of the brightest young minds into the IBM i community through his classroom. Now, everyone can benefit no matter where you are through his online classes. Learn more at imPower Technologies.
The fundamental question every legacy organization needs to ask themselves is, “So how do companies successfully break through the gravitational pull of their legacy businesses?”
We have seen this trend as well. It works when someone is a contractor but if someone is an employee of a company they often will not leave for a contract-to-hire opportunity. Nevertheless, there is value in this hiring arrangement.
Here is a great blog post and an associated video interview with Frank Scavo, an ERP Consultant, and Advisor. The discussion revolves around legacy systems and the associated technical debt that can go along with it.
There is a big push towards Digital Transformation, but it is not easy. It requires a shift in thinking on part of the IT Executive as well as the entire enterprise. The other factors are the legacy systems and the concept of technical debt that is present in most enterprise organizations.
IT Modernization projects are part of Digital Transformation. Combined they take an organization through massive amounts of change that touch every aspect of the organization. “For these reasons, the journey may be a bumpy one. The pace and extent of change can unsettle staff and manifest itself in the form of resistance.”
While “technical debt is what you fix in the future — it’s measurable and visible. Dark debt is only expressed through failure.”
There is a big trend taking place across multiple industries in that many professionals are starting to turn towards consulting vs working for a company. In light of this, when it comes to writing a resume you need to think about it differently. Here is a really great video from Victor Cheng of Caseinterview.com on how to write a consulting resume.
No wonder so many people don’t get a response when they submit their resume. “More than eighty percent of all submitted résumés (and 100 percent of résumés sent to Fortune 1000 companies) get scanned by software.”