True. Technical debt is a liability when not handled properly. There are several approaches you can take to repay technical debt. My preferred approach is to repay constantly as we work on the code that is affected by it.
The important aspect of this IMO is to be pragmatic about it. By addressing technical debt as we encounter it. And by keeping it within the scope of the work we are doing. We make sure that we get the best balance results. Technical debt is repaid, and no "unnecessary" (to the eyes of stakeholders) work has been undertaken.
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