What is technical debt?
It is a temporary workaround that benefits us now, but makes maintenance harder later. Sometimes call a ‘hack’ or a workaround. And that is a thing we could detect, for example by looking at comments.
Previous work shows that technical debt impacts quality negatively but also that TD can remain in code for 10 years.
So is it bad? Sultan mined 5 projects:
R1: Are there more defects in NSATD files then SATD?
Surprise! SATD files have *fewer* defects!
R2: Will there be more defect inducing changes in the future?
R3: Is it more likely to modify SATD files?
So given the above two results, this might be surprising, but the SATD files were way more likely to be changed, and also, the changes were harder (=they had more entropy, details in the paper)
In conclusion: TD does not result in bugs, but does make changes harder.