What is technical debt?
A design or construction approach that’s expedient in the short term but that creates a technical context in which the same work will cost more to do later than it would cost to do now (including increased cost over time)
“Guys, we don’t have time to dot every i and cross every t on this release. Just get the code done. It doesn’t have to be perfect. We’ll fix it after we release.”
A quote from the past
“As an evolving program is continually changed, its complexity, reflecting deteriorating structure, increases unless work is done to maintain or reduce it.” — Meir Manny Lehman, 1980
Need a bit more info? Check out the presentation on technical debt at the International Conference on Software Engineering anno 2013 or Wikipedia.