Debug Code Effectively
Forming a well-made strategy requires you to process your way through a combination of Utilizing Google, logging your code, and experimenting with the hypothesis against the persistent issue. You will find many tools that can help you out through this process, but utilizing them is not the difficult part. Determining the problem at hand and how to solve it efficiently is the difficult part.
Debugging can never be avoided. It can be seen as finding the root of the problem in your code and then solving the mistake and implementing effective coding by fixing the existing bugs throughout the entire code.
Generally, coding experts tend to find themselves thinking about all the possible causes for the present bug, then they work their way through each potential solution until they recognize the problem and implement the correct solution. When they begin, they tend to implement the solution that’s most likely to be correct, and they work their way down the list until one works.
If you’re thinking about a magic solution that would solve all your bugs and make the code flawless in a matter of seconds, then you’re severely mistaken. There is no such button made yet that could perform an action of this magnitude. In short, there’s no magic button for bugs. If you want to implement effective solutions, you will have to determine an efficient and accurate strategy you want to utilize accordingly.
Let’s begin by discussing what an effective debugging mindset to have while implementing efficient strategies and then explore some useful tools we can utilize to debug our code.
How to get into a debugging Mindset?
Tapping into the most effective mindset will allow you to grow in your skill of expertise while also enabling you to debug code with more efficiency and accuracy. Getting rid of any distractions during your work hours is the first, most important priority. Without any further ado, let’s get into the steps of tapping into work mode and utilizing the power of accurate mindset strategies.
Pay attention to error messages!
In almost every development software & tool, if your code fails to operate, you will receive an error message that gives you a hint or two for why your code has failed to function. This may be an obvious statement; however, you would be surprised if you knew how many programmers and coding beginners simply ignore the error message displayed on their screen showing them why their code couldn’t function the way it should.
These programmers and coders simply go off the first thing that occurs in mind instead of paying attention to what will more likely enable to debug their code with enhanced efficiency when compared to them out of the blue, guesses. Error messages are provided for a reason, and it’s to provide hints about why this problem persists, so pay attention to detail and grow to become a better coder or programmer if you don’t already do this.
Google what you don’t understand
There are many times coders don’t understand the error message they’re presented with, or if for any reason you’re unable to figure your way out of an issue, always resort to Googling the issue. Using the most used search engine to get an answer to your question is the smart way to handle this problem, along with many others.
One of the best things to mention here is that the coding community is numerically huge. There will almost always be a coder who went through the exact same issue as you’re now, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced coder, the problems you’re facing will most likely be discussed in these communities, and their solution has most likely already been arrived and tested by hundred if not thousands and more.
A great tip to remember when Googling anything is to be as concise as you can while being as detailed as possible. That said, you should always add the technology you’re using to code as it helps in getting you better and accurately enhanced search results that will more likely provide you with the solution you need.
Another good tip to always rely upon is to try and use trusted sources only. By “trusted,” we want you to point out the solutions that have already been tested and approved by previous coders. It will serve you better if they’ve been reviewed as well. The solutions that have been validated by an official source also fall into the trusted criteria. When checking official documents, note that they always should be the first solution-providing source you look out for. If the search results indicate you towards the more official side of the solution, choose that over trying out a website of people still looking for it and having doubts over their constant tries.
Explain your logic to another person
Programming can be unexpectedly abstract. This makes it easy to lose sight of some important actions to remember while coding. It has also been known for causing assumption-building and continuous misinterpretation of the information you’re always working with.
A well-interpreted solution to this issue is to analyze each code you type and read it out loud as you progress, doing this will help you in acknowledging certain coding that you would normally forget and must repeat some of your research to pop it back into your mind.
The idea behind this technique is to force yourself to read each line of your code and stop to think for once that you already know what it does. This technique will help you improve and grow fast while enhancing your coding skills along the way. The more you progress, the better it is for your career, and this technique can help you get there, so why not try it out?
This technique works off the fact that we normally tend to ignore the pertinent mentions while focusing more on the process and not paying the required amount of attention to get it down in your system. It’s simple human nature, and it can benefit you if you want to improve your skillset efficiently. It’s a basic mechanism that allows us to simply save more energy and do tasks faster in comparison with more efficiently.
Narrow down your problems and get to the root of them
As your coding gets lengthier while your code base gets larger, analyzing each line of your code can get quite challenging. It will get hard to keep check and balance over the accuracy of your code. The smart play here is to divide and analyze your code by starting in places that are most likely to consist of a bug and ending with the least likely compartment of it.
When it comes to getting to the root of the problems that you meet along the way, try asking yourself the following questions, and you will surely understand what’s best now.
- How to know if I’m seeing an error in the code?
- Where is the input coming from, and what input am I providing as a coder?
- Is this the same input as the function is expected?
- Are there any other independent entities interacting with the code?
- Did I make any recent changes that could have potentially caused this error?
Take a break occasionally
There are many bugs that are quickly and smoothly solvable. However, not every bug is like this. Many exceptional bugs demand your time and effort to be solved, and, on many occasions, you will have to put hard work into fighting with bugs for hours to even days until you come up with a possible solution. When cruising through such circumstances, it’s important to know what state of mind you’re presently in. It’s important to analyze your state of mind when performing in such cases, especially if it’s a bit too challenging to solve during a single sitting.
The way your brain is performing and remaining mentally balanced at most times will hugely affect the way you’re programming. We’re sure you understand the mental capacity you need to program. It’s also important to keep it that way. Give your brain some time to recover and your mental capacity time to regenerate. You must provide yourself with some well-deserved time to rest before you start typing away again. You’ll notice, if you haven’t already, how a pleasant mind-state reflects your coding quality. In short, you’ll get better by cutting some time out for yourself to recover from the continuous mental strain.
Another pertinent mention here is to keep your thoughts focused by knowing that bugs are simply a part of the process. Everybody gets to face some, and it doesn’t reflect how good of a programmer they’re, and it doesn’t showcase their level of expertise as a programmer.
Make sure the bug is no more
One of the most frustrating occurrences during programming is fighting your way to fix a tough bug, then realizing the bug was never solved; it’s still there. Or even worse, more bugs have now been introduced, all thanks to the “solution” you implemented to get rid of the first one.
To refrain from this ever happening to you, the best practice is to test your code; if you can do so through the help of automation, then go for it. Generally, each compartment of the generated codebase has code tests that should be run every time a change has been made in the code. Doesn’t matter if the solution you implemented was from a trusted source; run the test either way and ensure that no bug is causing failure to operate your code.
If you don’t have the feature of automated testing, which you should if you’re looking to grow as a programmer or a skilled coder, what you can do is test your code manually. Do this by analyzing the code by running through all the possible interactions that can be made by the user in the future. The product will be bug-free by the end of it, hopefully.
Write Clarified Code:
The best method to keep your distance from bugs is to refrain from inserting them in the first place. We acknowledge that writing bug-free code is impossible, no matter your level of expertise and how much experience you’ve accumulated over the timeframe of your involvement in this field. That said, there are a few techniques and principles you can adopt to keep your coding in check and get as close to bug-free coding as possible.
Start with researching and educating yourself with the DRY, KISS and SOLID principles. A brief introduction has been given.
1. DRY Code:
DRY stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself. This basically indicates the coder towards avoiding repetition of the same code wherever deemed possible.
2. KISS Code:
This technique refers to keeping your coding simple and do-able. It stands for “Keep it simple, stupid,” and it’s a blunt way of helping coders recognize the better choice between complexity and simplicity while writing code.
3. SOLID Code:
This Coding technique has a separate meaning for each of its characters.
- The starting Alphabet “S” Stands for Single Responsibility. Which means one job at a time.
- The “O” stands for Open Closed Principle, and it means that you should be able to improvise by extending classes behavior without having to modify it.
- “L” Stands for Liskov Substitution Principle, and it denotes that derived classes must be suitable with their base classes.
- “I” Stands for interface segregation, which means that a client should never be forced towards using an interface they don’t recognize as utilizable.
- “D” Stands for “Dependency Inversion Principle.” The meaning of this term denotes that entities must depend on abstractions whilst not being dependable on concretions. Otherwise, high-level modules should not depend on low-level modules, while they should depend on abstractions.
Coding can remain to be frustrating at one time, while it goes smoothly at another. It can also be a handful for beginners, while even advanced coders get tired of working to solve a single persistent bug in the code. Whatever the case, all coders, from beginners to advanced levels of expertise, can learn to make their coding techniques more efficient or even adopt new ones if they don’t have it all figured out, which is exactly where we come in. All the information about debugging and writing less bugged code has been displayed. You can implement the strategies, techniques, and tips and tricks discussed to improve your career and your growth immensely.
1. What is the #1 rule of debugging your coding?
“Understanding the system” has taken the title of being the #1 rule for debugging. You need to understand the system well and get to the root of the problem.
2. What are the 5 different methods for debugging code?
They include inspection, debugging tools, integration testing, system testing, and unit testing.
3. What is the 90-10 rule in programming?
When it comes to software engineering, it often happens that 90% of the time spent on a specified computer program is spent while executing 10% of the code utilized to make it function.