Tackling Technical Debt: Carolyn Seaman, Ph.D.

Date: July 19, 2016
Location: College Park, MD

Optimal’s Analytics team recently attended an in-house lecture given by Dr. Carolyn Seaman, who inspired the staff to think more deeply about the software they currently use to prevent accumulating “technical debt.”As Dr. Seaman explained, technical debt is the future cost of going back and fixing problems that were created when software was first developed. The “debt” refers to the problem of delayed maintenance tasks and the “interest” is the potential penalty (in terms of increased effort and decreased productivity) that will have to be paid in the future as a result of not completing these tasks in the present.Seaman is an Associate Professor at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the Department of Information Systems Technology and Engineering. She is also a Research Fellow at the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, where she participates in research on experience management and software metrics. Her research interest include software metrics, software maintenance, empirical software engineering, qualitative research methods, and technical debt.Seaman’s talk inspired the Optimal Analytics team to create a list of items they see as potential technical debt and led to conversations about regulatory compliance. For more information of technical debt and the federal government please visit https://gcn.com/articles/2015/12/23/technical-debt.aspx.