The “State of Technical Debt 2021”

What Engineers Think about Technical Debt and Its Impact on Team Morale, Velocity, and Customer Experience.

Cover of "state of the technical debpt 2021" report

Technical debt is destroying developer morale

Employee morale is one of the most difficult things to manage, especially now that companies are switching to long-term remote work solutions. The survey reveals that technical debt is actually a major driver of decreasing morale.

Developers often feel like they are forced to prioritise new features over vital maintenance work that could improve their experience and velocity and this is taking a significant toll.

Statistics showing the impact of tech debt on the company

Engineers believe the team would ship up to 100% faster if they had a process for technical debt

More than half of respondents claim that their companies do not deal with technical debt well, highlighting that the divide between engineers and leadership is widening rather than closing.

Engineers are clearly convinced that technical debt is the primary reason for productivity losses, however, they seem to be struggling to make it a priority.

Pie chart showing how much faster would you ship if the company had tech debt under control