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How Technical Debt Hampers Modernization Efforts for Organizations

When Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 16,700 flights following a winter storm, old crew-scheduling software became the focus of attention.

“This problem — relying on older or deficient software that needs updating — is known as incurring technical debt, meaning there is a gap between what the software needs to be and what it is,” wrote Columbia University professor Zeynep Tufekci in a Dec. 31 New York Times opinion piece.

Technical debt stems from aging code as well as new software written in a fast and careless way. “As you might expect, quicker is cheaper,” Tufekci wrote.

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