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Architectural Erosion and Technical Debt

Uli Homann and Eric Charran (via Ben Brauer) talk about the concept of architectural erosion:

The way Eric thinks about architectural erosion is when architects and engineers work together, they construct a system or solution. They have launched that solution into production. It’s performing well for a period of time and then change happens. Whether it’s a change in requirements, a change in infrastructure, or a change in customer habits, DevOps signals saying that people are using a certain feature versus they’re not using a certain feature. What ended up happening is there’s a moment in time in which we look at velocity around how do we implement this change and make the applications experience, do what the customer or the end user wants as quickly as possible. Then there’s the strategic picture of managing things like technical debt, which is if I do something tactical, I’m probably going to do it fast and cheap and not necessarily the “right way.” This then accrues to the architectural patterns, longevity and scalability and all those other types of things, and then that goes into my pile of technical debt.

Read on to learn more about the topic and what we, as technical professionals, can do to mitigate this risk.