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Using Technical Debt to Improve Software Sustainability and Find Software Vulnerabilities

This presentation introduces analytics use of technical debt.

Software Engineering Institute


Technical debt is a metaphor that conceptualizes the tradeoff between short-term and long-term value. Managing technical debt is an increasingly critical aspect of producing cost-effective, timely, and high-quality software products.

Summary of Findings

  • Design areas with a greater density of technical debt provide significant opportunities for improvement.
  • The issues we find are mostly the result of unintentional design choices.
  • Correlations between vulnerabilities and technical debt indicators warrant further research that combines multiple artifacts in analysis.
  • Technical debt can be made visible earlier when tracked similarly to defects, consequently managed more effectively and strategically.