Technical Debt Management Workshop


Schedule and location

Tuesday April 10th - Wednesday  April 11th 

Aalto University (Computer Science Building), Konemiehentie 2, Otaniemi, Espoo. Seminar room A136 (T6)


Registration is open February 18- April 3rd


Associate Professor Antonio Martini,University of Oslo, CA Technologies, Norway
Distinguished Solution Architect Eltjo Poort, CGI
Agile Coach ja Software Architecht Ville Manninen, Industry62, Finland.


D.Sc. Jesse Yli-Huumo (Aalto University)
D.Sc. Johannes Holvitie (University of Turku)


Technical debt refers to a concept in software development where extra development is accumulated through intentional decision or unintentional side-effect, when code that is easy to implement or the only known solution is used instead of applying the best overall implementation. Technical debt is an essential part of software development, which has to be acknowledged by software companies. Taking technical debt can speed up the development and provide time-to-market advances for software companies. However, the drawback of having shortcuts and workarounds in the software can lead to omitted quality. When the number of non-optimal solutions in the source code starts to increase, it can create complexity, which can be seen as a technical debt in the software. If the complexity deteriorates development speed the debt has to be paid. Technical debt can be considered as a risk and challenge towards software and software development. If technical debt is not controlled, there is the possibility that the sustainability and maintainability of the software product will become too difficult and expensive for the software company to deal with.

In this workshop, we will over go several topics related to technical debt and its management. We will cover what is technical debt, what is meant with technical debt management, how are software architecture and technical debt related to each other, and how can you sell a business case for technical debt reduction? In addition, we will show you real-life examples of technical debt from the software industry.

Detailed Program

Day 1 (10.4.2018):


9:00 – 9:15 Introduction to seminar

 9:15 - 10:30 What is technical debt? (Antonio Martini)

 10:45 - 12:15 How do you manage technical debt? (Antonio Martini)

 12:15 - 13:45 Lunch

 13:45 - 15:15 Experiences of technical debt from the industry (Ville Manninen)

 15:30 - 17:00 Agile software development and technical debt (Ville Manninen)

 17:00 - End of day 1


Day 2 (11.4.2018):


9:00 - 10:30 What is technical debt in software architecture? (Eltjo Poort)

10:45 - 12:15 Selling the business case for architectural debt reduction (Eltjo Poort)

12:15 - 13:45 Lunch

13:45 - 15:15 Technical debt tools (Hands on presentation) (Antonio Martini)

15:30 - 17:00 Finalizing the workshop, questions and discussions, assignment for home

17:00 End of workshop



Readings are not mandatory, but you can check couple of them before coming to seminar.

P.Avgeriou, P. Kruchten, R. L. Nord, I. Ozkaya and C. Seaman, "Reducing Friction in Software Development," in IEEE Software, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 66-73, Jan.-Feb. 2016.

Buschmann, "To Pay or Not to Pay Technical Debt," in IEEE Software, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 29-31, Nov.-Dec. 2011.

E. R. Poort, "Driving Agile Architecting with Cost and Risk," in IEEE Software, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 20-23, Sept.-Oct. 2014.

A. Martini, J. Bosch and M. Chaudron, "Architecture Technical Debt: Understanding Causes and a Qualitative Model," 2014 40th EUROMICRO Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, Verona, 2014, pp. 85-92.

Li, Z., Avgeriou, P. and Liang, P., 2015. A systematic mapping study on technical debt and its management. Journal of Systems and Software, 101, pp.193-220.

Holvitie, J., Licorish, S.A., Martini, A. and Leppänen, V., 2016. Co-Existence of the 'Technical Debt' and 'Software Legacy' Concepts. In QuASoQ/TDA@ APSEC (pp. 80-83).

Yli-Huumo, J., Maglyas, A. and Smolander, K., 2016. How do software development teams manage technical debt? - An empirical study. Journal of Systems and Software, 120, pp.195-218.



Assignment includes a very short task both before and after the seminar. 


Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain 2  credit points. This requires participating on all of the days and completing the assignment.

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 400 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.