There are many reasons for you to admit, adopt and accept tech debt and depending on the reasons tech debts can be categorized into four types which are more commonly known as the technical debt quadrant. Understanding the classification better would help you to know which are the technical debts you need to pay off first and which are the tech debts you should ignore for the time being. There are debts which you may not know which does not need to be considered at all. Such debts are existent in codes which are seldom used by the users and also those which have no significant impact on the codes functionality.
Reckless And Prudent Debt
Reckless debts are those who are knowingly adopted by you as it would not hamper the codes functionality in the short term and you can benefit from its early release. It may also be the codes which are produced by a group of ignorant developers who may have left some faults in the code. These reckless codes may call for huge interest payment over time and result in the early death of your business. Debts which expire over time do not need to be considered as very dangerous for the company. Another type of debt is the prudent debts which are those whose effects are significantly small.
Deliberate And Inadvertent Debt
Tech debts can also be deliberate and inadvertent, but there are some differences in it as well. You may consider all prudent debts as deliberate debts as the development team knows that they are taking the debt on knowingly. The reason for such debt by the team is the thoughtful decision of releasing a code early as the benefits that could be enjoyed with such an early release is more than the cost of paying the interest. A team which is ignorant of code design takes on reckless debt which may not be inadvertent. A team knowing good design practice may not be able to afford the time for rework.
Prudent Inadvertent Debt
You may wonder whether or not anything of such kind occurs. But rest assured it might occur if you have a very strong and highly qualified and excellent team of designers. A code may be designed by them without any flaw, released on time in the market and doing well, and client was happy. Still, your team along with you may feel that the code could have been designed better and some other useful features added. Such prudent debts can be classified under inadvertent debt as well.
Decision Of Paying Back
The tech debt metaphor helps a lot in deciding the debt regarding interest or by paying off the principal. You may argue that the metaphor of tech debt does not have any similarity with prudent inadvertent financial debt but the kind of debt is inevitable and should always be expected. Just like the way you would go for the best credit card consolidation to clear all previous debts, you may apply the same in tech debt to pay it off on time and increase the life expectancy of the codes.