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Exploration of technical debt in start-ups
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
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2018 (English)In: Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE Computer Society , 2018, p. 75-84Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Context: Software start-ups are young companies aiming to build and market software-intensive products fast with little resources. Aiming to accelerate time-to-market, start-ups often opt for ad-hoc engineering practices, make shortcuts in product engineering, and accumulate technical debt. Objective: In this paper we explore to what extent precedents, dimensions and outcomes associated with technical debt are prevalent in start-ups. Method: We apply a case survey method to identify aspects of technical debt and contextual information characterizing the engineering context in start-ups. Results: By analyzing responses from 86 start-up cases we found that start-ups accumulate most technical debt in the testing dimension, despite attempts to automate testing. Furthermore, we found that start-up team size and experience is a leading precedent for accumulating technical debt: larger teams face more challenges in keeping the debt under control. Conclusions: This study highlights the necessity to monitor levels of technical debt and to preemptively introduce practices to keep the debt under control. Adding more people to an already difficult to maintain product could amplify other precedents, such as resource shortages, communication issues and negatively affect decisions pertaining to the use of good engineering practices. © 2018 ACM.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society , 2018. p. 75-84
Series
Proceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering, ISSN 0270-5257
Keywords [en]
Software start-ups, Technical debt, Commerce, Case surveys, Contextual information, Engineering practices, Good engineering practices, Product engineering, Resource shortage, Technical debts, Time to market, Software engineering
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-16893DOI: 10.1145/3183519.3183539Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049673180ISBN: 9781450356596 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-16893DiVA, id: diva2:1239996
Conference
40th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Practice, ICSE-SEIP 2018; Gothenburg
Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-20 Last updated: 2018-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Klotins, EriksUnterkalmsteiner, MichaelChatzipetrou, PanagiotaGorschek, Tony

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
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More styles
Language
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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