Perceptions of Technical Debt and its Management Activities-A Survey of Software Practitioners

Danyllo Albuquerque, Everton Tavares Guimaraes, Graziela Simone Tonin, Mirko Barbosa Perkusich, Hyggo Almeida, Angelo Perkusich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Technical Debt (TD) is a metaphor reflecting technical compromises that can yield short-term benefits but might hurt the long-term health of a software system. Although several research efforts have been carried out, TD-related literature indicates that Technical Debt Management (TDM) is still incipient. Particularly in software organizations, there is still a lack of knowledge regarding how practitioners perceive TD and perform TDM in their projects. Our research focuses on characterizing TD and its management under the perspective of practitioners. For doing so, we conducted an online survey with 120 participants from 86 different organizations located in 5 different countries. Our results indicate that TD conception is widespread among more than 70% of respondents. Most of them (72%) recognized its importance and impact on software artifacts, being able to provide a valid example of three different TD Types (i.e., Design, Code, and Architectural). In addition, at least 65% of respondents consider TD identification, TD Repayment, and TD prevention as TDM activities in the spotlight. However, less than 15% adopt formal approaches to support these activities. This paper contributes to TD discussion and TDM activities by showing the practitioner's perspective. Finally, further research will support observing how effective and efficient TDM activities can be in different contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCBSOFT 2022 - 13th Congresso Brasileiro de Software; Proceedings - 36th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2022
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450397353
StatePublished - Oct 5 2022
Event36th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2022 - Virtual, Online, Brazil
Duration: Oct 3 2022Oct 7 2022

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference36th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2022
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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