What Is Technical Debt and How Can Low-Code Solve It?

What Is Technical Debt and How Can Low-Code Solve It?

In software development, one of the primary challenges developers face is accruing technical debt. Sometimes referred to as design debt or code debt, technical debt is essentially the implied cost of any future backtracking necessary to rework an application. Tech debt is widespread with traditional coding solutions because features of an application are inextricably linked to coding for other features. In other words, changing the coding for one feature of an application often interferes with additional features, so developers have to backtrack and edit an extensive amount of code.

Low-code solutions often mitigate the risk of tech debt. Most low-code development platforms offer pre-coded, compatible building blocks through a graphic user interface, allowing developers and citizen developers to see the application being built in real-time and make quick changes along the way.

As experts in various low-code development platforms, Rappid can help businesses strategize on their projects, optimize low-code benefits, and ultimately minimize the risk of technical debt to keep up with changes and industry standards.

Considering the possibility of using low-code to manage tech debt, you might wonder: is tech debt terrible? What are the different types of technical debt? What is an example of tech debt? How does low code prevent tech debt? How does Rappid use low-code to address tech debt?

Is Tech Debt Bad?

While it is preferable to avoid it if possible, tech debt is sometimes good. Most business owners understand the necessity of making compromises to see their business grow, and to a certain extent, tech debt is unavoidable. When appropriately managed, tech debt does not have to become insurmountable.

Accruing tech debt can become an issue when developing customized applications through traditional coding and attempting to make excessive changes and updates. When creating an application through standard coding, it is crucial to have a detailed map before getting started. Turning around and re-coding different features could mean weeks or even months of delay, ultimately costing your business time and money.

However, with low-code development platforms, all the building blocks are pre-coded and compatible with each other, reducing development time and allowing programmers to quickly make changes and updates without the need for re-coding entire features. Low-code development allows business owners to avoid accruing unnecessary tech debt and manage their business with greater peace of mind.

What Are the Different Types of Technical Debt?

There are four categories of tech debt: prudent and deliberate, reckless and deliberate, prudent and inadvertent, and reckless and negligent. The goal is to keep most of your tech debt in the "prudent and deliberate" category and to control the amount of technical debt you accrue. Ultimately, managing tech debt centers around the balance of quality and speed.

Regarding app development, low-code, and no-code platforms offer businesses the tools they need to develop quality applications while avoiding the reckless and inadvertent tech debt that can result from making various cuts in the traditional development process.

What Is an Example of Tech Debt?

To better illustrate the dangers of tech debt when developing applications, consider the pandemic's effects on many online retailers. Several retailers with online storefronts needed to build their websites scalable for many concurrent users. Creating a more scalable website would have taken more time, and many online retailers took the shortcut; however, once the pandemic hit and the number of online shoppers increased dramatically, many retail online storefronts could not support the increase of concurrent users.

As a result, these retailers had to address the issue with solutions like virtual queues, but shoppers opted for retailers with more straightforward and quicker shopping experiences. Companies like Amazon and eBay, which already had scalable websites, benefited from their competitors' tech debt.

How Does Low-Code Prevent Tech Debt?

The following are several examples of how low-code development can assist you with managing technical debt:

Quality Development

During application development, most business users are concerned about the app's quality and the time it will take to develop and deploy the app. With traditional coding, business users are often forced to compromise on quality or time; when compromising on quality, tech debt increases. With low-code development, your IT team can shorten development cycles to a fraction of the time without compromising quality. As a result, you can reduce technical debt in the future.

Efficient Cloud Integration with Legacy Systems

Many businesses use a cloud database to store and organize their data, but integration with legacy systems can be lengthy and complicated. Low-code development platforms can help integrate legacy systems with cloud-based applications, allowing your business to optimize your data storage without spending extra funds for development teams to take on the lengthy process of integrating by hand. Plus, you avoid human error that could lead to malfunctions when integrating systems through traditional coding.

Accessible Platform

Low-code frameworks provide pre-coded templates with a drag-and-drop functionality, allowing business users and citizen developers to participate in developing applications even without experienced developers. This means the development process is not limited to expert developers but extends to other departments, allowing for better collaboration and communication and, ultimately, a more efficient application that will more directly serve your business needs. This also means your IT teams do not suddenly get bogged down with delayed requests due to complications and lack of communication.

Faster Prototyping

With low-code development, developers can prototype solutions much faster than traditional coding. Plus, you do not need a development team to be able to test and update solutions, which allows your development team to focus on other, more complicated tasks and ultimately saves you time and money.

Upgraded Legacy Systems

One of the weaknesses of legacy systems is their inability to keep up with upgrades and changes. Still, low-code software can help compensate for this by enhancing legacy systems like ERP or core banking. This way, you can continue to optimize your legacy system's benefits while reducing its workload.


One of the challenges of traditional coding is how time-consuming and difficult it can be to increase an application's scalability. With low-code development, changes and updates are quick and accessible through a simple drag-and-drop functionality that allows users to develop the application or make changes without coding the entire function from scratch. This makes it easier to scale up a program without accruing excessive tech debt.

How Does Rappid Use Low-Code to Address Tech Debt?

If you are considering transitioning from traditional coding to low-code, Rappid is here to help. We are low code experts that will help you choose a low-code platform that best fits your desires and goals and help you strategize the features you need in your applications.

With experts in various low-code development platforms, Rappid will help you make the most of what low-code offers and help you avoid the pitfalls of wasted resources, excessive spending, ineffective solutions, and unnecessary tech debt.

Conclusion: What is Technical Debt, and How can Low Code Solve it

Tech debt is the implied cost of any backtracking necessary to rework or update an existing application. To a certain extent, tech debt is inevitable, so the real challenge revolves around how a business owner manages tech debt.

There are four categories of tech debt: prudent and deliberate, reckless and deliberate, prudent and inadvertent, and reckless and inadvertent. Ultimately, a business owner aims to keep any necessary tech debt in the "prudent and deliberate" category.

When it comes to traditional coding, business owners often have to compromise for either speed or quality; however, with low-code development, business owners can only avoid accruing unnecessary tech debt by compromising on speed or quality. Low-code development platforms can help prevent tech debt through faster prototyping, scalability, and greater accessibility.

Rappid can help you address tech debt by assisting you in your process of developing low-code applications that will best serve your business needs.

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