Technical debt and airlines
1 min read

Technical debt and airlines

Technical debt and airlines

Technical debt is often ignored, but it can put your business at risk.

Technical debt seems "to be a key factor in why Southwest Airlines couldn’t return to business as usual. More than 15,000 of its flights were canceled starting on Dec. 22, including more than 2,300 canceled this past Thursday — almost a week after the storm had passed."

Outdated software and technical debt were the main factors in Southwest Airlines' widespread flight cancellations after a winter storm in December 2022, according to an opinion column in The New York Times.

In software development, technical debt is the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy (limited) solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer. (Wikipedia)

Or as the article says "software can be written in a rapid and shoddy way, rather than in a more resilient manner that makes it more dependable and easier to fix or expand. As you might expect, the former is cheaper and quicker."

The cancellations, which stranded hundreds of thousands of passengers, were caused by Southwest's failure to modernize its systems, the column argues.

Photo by DeepMind on Unsplash