Cover art for podcast The Buffer Overflow Podcast

The Buffer Overflow Podcast

5 EpisodesProduced by BufferWebsite

Join Jordan and Joe from Buffer as they talk, tackle and dissect all sorts of topics about software engineering in a fully remote and distributed company. In this podcast, they'll cover all of the challenges modern companies face when creating software, how to do it on a team that spans the globe an… read more


Technical Debt

This week, Joe and Jordan discuss a common topic found in software engineering: technical debt.

While some engineers might consider dealing with it right away a verity of software development, others perhaps think it best to work around it and build around infrastructure what's already in place. 

Is there a middle ground? 

Further, how do you deal with technical debt regardless of your stance? What are some lessons learned? How do you advocate for time to fix it within your organization?

We'll take a look at some first hand examples of technical debt we've introduced ourselves in Buffer, what we did to fix it and how we addressed existing technical debt. Along the way, we'll see how technical debt is really all about your mindset - everyone has it, and you've got to respect the code that came before you while thinking about how to create a sustainable path forward with the work that you do day in and day out.

This is our last episode of season 1 of the Buffer Overflow podcast. We will return in 2020 with some exciting guests from Buffer's engineering team!

Time Codes:

  • What is technical debt? (2:40)
  • Valuing both speed and stability (4:00)
  • The balance of feature work versus technical debt (6:25)
  • The law of 1%s in terms of technical debt (11:40)
  • How tackling technical debt can introduce more of it (13:20)
  • The biggest refactors we've done at Buffer, and one lesson we took from them (16:40)
  • Joe answers: Refactor versus Rewrite - How do you know which to pursue? (22:36)

Reader Mail:

From Anton: "How do you measure technical debt?" (25:00)

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