It was the year 1946, Admiral Grace Hopper was just released from active duty then she joined Harvard Faculty at the Computation Laboratory where she continued her work on the Mark II, one of the first electromechanical computers ever built. It wasn’t long till operations had to stop because the sy stem wasn’t working properly, they soon found out that a Moth was stuck in a relay and thus the first bug was discovered. Though, originally the term has existed way back since 1870’s and was used by Thomas Edison to describe mechanical malfunctions.
Bugs, whenever you hear this term it’s almost always never a good thing but what is a “Bug” exactly? By definition, a (software) Bug is an error or malfunction in the system that causes it to produce unexpected results. Bugs are also the common cause of strees among devs. Bugs can come in many different sizes, some are more dangerous than others. In extreme cases bugs can drop planes and satellites from the sky then there are some that can even cause death. Simply put, a Bug is the bane of almost all software developers.
By now, you should understand that bugs are a serious matter and they plague every software. As a developer it is our job to exterminate these bugs, so here are a few tips on how to combat these pests:
First of, the main tool we use to remove bugs, beehold the DEBUGGER. There are actually quite a number of debugging tools out there, some are integrated within the IDE, others can be found in the app itself, even web browsers have their own debugger. So don’t worry because there is an abundance of debuggers out there, you just have to find that one that suits your apps needs. So how does a debugger work you may ask? Technically speaking The main purpose of the debugger is to find and identify the cause of the bug. It does this by running through your app’s process step by step so you can follow through where and when the error occurs.
Which leads us to the second tool we use, the LOG. The thing where most bugs live in is how we’re going to remove them? Yes, but seriously, logging means writing down the data that wood go in and out through your app. In a way, logging is a primitive way of debugging. A debugger might be more efficient in spotting these bugs, but what good does that do if you don’t know how to resolve them or why they happen in the first place? By logging your data, you have an expectation of results and this shows how much of your code do you truly understand.
The next tip I have is PATIENCE. This might seem sappy and all that, but in reality this is something that we need and should all have. As a dev I can’t count how many times I get frustrated over lines of code, that just make me want to slam my face on the keyboard. Turns out, on almost all those times, all I had to do wait and it just magically fixes itself. Sometimes we just need to calm down, leaf it a while, and give it a rest. Panicking or stressing over something doesn’t help in solving the problem. In reality bugs don’t just magically fix themselves, turns out if you’re not stressed you can actually think! Eventually you’ll learn to realize that the solution wasn’t that hard at all and then you just want to facepalm yourself in embarrassment.
Finally, you can always ASK OTHERS FOR HELP. WHAT? You mean there are people who actually know more than you? Why yes! In fact there’s this thing called the ‘internet’ where you can literally ask anything then hundreds to thousands of people are willing to answer, if they haven’t already. In fact there are lot of community driven websites that dedicate in helping fellow developers *cough* stackoverflow *cough*. There’s no shame in admitting that you know nothing and if you just ask, you won’t believe how many out there are willing to kelp.
Now that you’re ready to face these bugs on the field let me drop you one more truth bomb: ALL APPS HAVE BUGS. Believe it or not, the truth is we will never eradicate all bugs. It’s just how apps are ant always have been. Every time you remove a bug, another one just branches out. Just like the song that goes:
“99 little bugs on the code
99 little bugs
you take one down and patch it around
you got 127 little bugs on the code”.
As devs we just have to do our best to minimize these bugs. Sometimes we just learn to live with them. After all, we owe a lot to bugs because without them how would we ever learn?
If nothing else, you can just purge it all down and hope the next sapp you build won’t be as bug infested.
Yes, this article is full of plant and insect puns. “it’s not a bug, It’s a feature”.