Use Data to Keep the Tech Debt Conversation Short and Sweet

Use Data to Keep the Tech Debt Conversation Short and Sweet

AppMap’s project summary report provides a ton of value to those looking for resources to address tech debt.

Project Summary Report A summary of existing flaws in my codebase.

When setup in CI, AppMap first observes your test run and analyzes the runtime behavior for existing flaws. This creates a code quality baseline. Then AppMap issues a PR with a one-time report on the analysis it conducted. From that point on, only issues scoped to incoming changes will be flagged.

The project summary report demonstrates the overall quality of the codebase and what types of flaws it has. In the video I show the example of a codebase with some issues including how SQL updates are performed as well as a handful of performance issues. This data will be helpful for higher-level conversations about prioritization and resource allocation. There are existing methods of measuring tech debt, but they are relatively soft and not linked to hard diagnostics or tactical fixes that need to happen.

The example includes an N+1 SQL query that can cause performance slowdowns. The issue might not be so egregious that I need to make an immediate hotfix, but it is something that is likely to impact this app’s user experience and its ability to scale.

The code quality report also pinpoints the exact locations in the code that need to be improved, enabling me or someone on my team to dive right into the details of each issue.

Project Summary Report The details of an preexisting N+1 flaw in my codebase.

The report includes a stack trace. It also links directly to the file that is introducing the flaw – a great place to start solving the problem. When I am looking for a good first issue to get someone introduced to the codebase I can put this info right into the issue description and they have the context that they need to start making valuable contributions.

Project Summary Report The report links directly to areas of code that need to be improved.

AppMap is available on the GitHub Marketplace. Once installed it provides a guide for the setup and configuration of the AppMap GitHub Action.

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