In case of emergency, break the glass. Three debugging tips19 Sep 2020 #career
What do you do when you’re facing a problem or have to fix a bug? Bang your head against the wall, smash your display? Here you have three debugging tips.
1. Isolate your problem
A coworker always says “Isolate your problem!” when you ask him for help. He’s right!
2. Stop and think
One of my takeaways from the book Pragmatic Thinking and Learning is thinking how to deliberately create the bug you’re facing. Run experiments to test your hypothesis.
Debugging is thinking. Pen and paper are your friends.
Sometimes you have to explain your problem to somebody else. And, the answer seems to come by magic. You don’t have anyone around?-you said. Think out loud or explain it to a rubber duck.
3. Find how others have solved your problem
Chances are somebody else has already faced and solved the same problem or a similar one. If you look out there, you might find an StackOverflow answer or a GitHub issue. Don’t blindly copy and paste any code without understanding it first. And, always prefer battle-tested solutions.
Voilà! These are three tips I have learned to use when facing an issue or figuring out how to solve a bug. One final tip: step away from your keyboard. That would make the diffuse mode of your brain to work.