Five Reasons for Including Technical Debt in the Software Engineering Curriculum

Five Reasons for Including Technical Debt in the Software Engineering Curriculum

Including technical debt in the software engineering curriculum is beneficial for students as it helps them develop a comprehensive understanding of the real-world challenges they may encounter in their professional careers. Here are five reasons for including technical debt in the curriculum:


1. Awareness of trade-offs

 Introducing technical debt in the curriculum helps students understand the trade-offs made during software development. They learn that shortcuts or quick solutions can lead to long-term consequences, such as increased maintenance costs, decreased software quality, and reduced productivity. This awareness encourages students to make informed decisions and consider the long-term implications of their choices.

2. Real-world preparation

Technical debt is a prevalent issue in software engineering projects. By teaching about technical debt, students gain practical knowledge that aligns with industry practices. They learn how to identify, manage, and address technical debt, which enhances their readiness to work on real-world projects upon graduation.

3. Software evolution and maintenance

Many software engineering projects involve maintaining and evolving existing systems. Understanding technical debt equips students with the skills to assess legacy codebases, identify areas of technical debt, and devise strategies for refactoring and improving the code. This knowledge is invaluable as students transition into roles where they will be working on existing software systems.

4. Collaborative development

Technical debt affects the entire development team. By including technical debt in the curriculum, students learn to recognize its impact on collaboration, communication, and teamwork. They understand that addressing technical debt requires effective collaboration among team members and aligning their efforts towards minimizing and repaying the debt.

5. Professional responsibility

Software engineers have a responsibility to deliver high-quality, maintainable, and reliable software. By discussing technical debt in the curriculum, students develop an understanding of their ethical responsibilities in delivering software that is free from excessive debt. They learn the importance of considering the long-term consequences and prioritizing software sustainability.


Overall, including technical debt in the software engineering curriculum empowers students with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions, manage technical debt effectively, and contribute to the development of sustainable and maintainable software systems.

June 12, 2023, 2:43 p.m. | Authored by Mugoya Dihfahsih


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