Is technical debt relevant to individuals?
Several years ago, a jaded finance veteran pointed out: “You can never ‘stay the same’ in the market. As the competition makes incremental changes, you have immediately fallen behind as far as the customer is concerned. The compounding effect is huge.”
Common causes for technical debt include lack of training, poor processes, obsolete tools, etc. A team operating with this much baggage is really behind the 8-ball when it comes to delivering great services or an outstanding product. (OK, enough parroting of what others say.)
Technical debt will drive reduction in market value of your product. Revenue reduction is followed by cost cutting, which is often job loss. Even if you’re the star of the team and will be retained past the initial cuts, the trajectory is clear.
Whence you find yourself jettisoned from the safe confines of the good-old-days, how do you plan on marketing your skills & knowledge? Everything you know is obsolete or not acceptable in today’s market. Your expertise in an obsolete product, once valued so highly, is completely worthless! That expertise that made you the star has zero value. Ouch.