Tradeoffs: Tech Debt vs. Efficiency

Scott Davis debunks common software tropes with empirical, quantifiable, measurable facts — what he calls "Evidence-Based Architecture". Watch a clip and read a transcript from the presentation at the GIDS Architecture Live 2020 series.

Snyk releases a State of Open Source Security Report, in 2020, and in this report, they found that 86% of JavaScript vulnerabilities occur in indirect dependencies. Now stop for a moment to think about that. If you have 1700 dependencies or 2,500 dependencies, and this is the source of nearly 90%, of your security vulnerabilities, that's a concern. That's problematic.

This is what I mean by these tradeoffs.

We're so quick to get started, but we don't consider the tech debt or the drawbacks or the real concerns of getting up and running so quickly.

Adding 90% of your bugs to your platform before you write your single line of code. And I know I keep coming back to these numbers, 1200, 1700, 2500. And the real reason I do is because in another report by Veracode, they've pointed out that the average JavaScript application is 377 dependencies. That's still an astonishing, large number to me. I don't want to manage nearly 400 dependencies.

But all of those frameworks we discussed here are quite literally an order of magnitude larger than what we're dealing with here.

The best case scenarios it has four times as many dependencies as the average program in the worst case scenario, as far worse than that.

In the full video, watch Scott talk about ways to make your web app fast by creating measurable performance budgets. The talk will explore your development process through the prism of the book Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations. And create objective integrity assessments through measurable Fitness Functions, as discussed in the book Building Evolutionary Architectures: Support Constant Change.

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