Depending on the reasons of tech debt existence, it can be categorized into four different and distinctive types which are more commonly known as tech debt quadrants. If you know and understand the classifications of it then it will be easier for you to determine which are the debts that you need to repay first and which are the ones you can retain for the time being. All tech debts are not bad and in fact some are useful for the business as well. The debts which can be ignored are not used frequently by the customers and it does not affect the code’s functionality as well.
Deliberate or Inadvertent
Technical debt can be deliberate or inadvertent. It can be said that all prudent debts are deliberate debts as the software development team takes on the debt knowing of its consequences and in anticipation of working on it in due course of time.
This is actually a thoughtful decision of the development team that thinks it is better to release it early with defects. The reason behind is that the immediate benefit that can be enjoyed with such early release is much more than the cost of interest that requires to be paid in order to rectify the defect in the code.
Reckless and Prudent Debt
On the other hand code designs by ignorant team can be reckless debt which is not inadvertent. Good debts are those which do not hamper the functionality of the code and can give you some benefit in the short term due to an early release. The reckless codes are designed by a group of ignorant developers who leave some faults in the code.
Such faults results in accumulation of interest which may not be possible for you to pay and thereby cause death of that code. Too many reckless codes can also cause the premature closure of the business as well. On the other hand prudent debts are those debts which have a very small effect on the code.
Inadvertent and Prudent Debt
If you have a very strong team of developers who are highly qualified and trained in code designing, you can have prudent inadvertent debts as well. This is a specific scenario when a code is perfectly deigned without any errors in it and is released on time after proper checks and tests done.
It might be doing well in the market and the customers are also happy using it but your team may feel that it could have been bettered in functionality if some more features were added in it. In such cases these debts are called prudent inadvertent debts.
Paying Back Decision
The decision of paying back technical debts is similar in principle of financial debts where you prioritize your debts, go for credit card loan consolidation to pay off multiple debts and much more.
Similarly, in technical debt the metaphor helps in the decision of repayment depends a lot on the amount of interest each carries which is the time and effort which you have to devote in refactoring each.