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Operational Costs of Technical Debt

Kurt Andersen (LinkedIn)
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(4.29, 17 ratings)

Just like regular maintenance on your car, your software stack requires maintenance even beyond the now-commonplace security fixes. When dealing with an open source project, the maintenance can require some of the same trade-offs that happen with commercial software. If you choose to incur technical debt by not keeping up with new releases and deprecating feature usage that is being phased out, the “repair bill” can be significant when your stack breaks.

Using experiences from LinkedIn’s history of open source usage during our 11 years of operation, Kurt will illustrate the tradeoffs that happen when one chooses either the “stick with an existing version” path or the “let’s keep up to date” path. The goal is to help participants look at these choices for their own environments and be able to make informed decisions. Participants will leave with a perspective on some of the key aspects to consider when making these choices.

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Kurt Andersen


Kurt has been actively involved with open source for over 20 years. One of my earliest involvements was instigating the PERL DBI/DBD specification in the early ‘90s. Since then I’ve been active in the email community, working on standards (such as SPF and DMARC) and I am currently a senior member of LinkedIn’s site reliability engineering organization.