How to Improve Your Debugging Skills

Finding the root cause of a bug can feel like an overwhelming and intimidating task whether you are a pro that has been creating code for years or a complete programming novice. Because a huge percentage of development time is actually typically dedicated to the debugging process, when coders encounter an error, it can be hard to figure out what to do. the good news is that even the most experienced developers run into error and bugs. So, if you do, it does not speak ill of your capabilities.

All developers make mistakes but the best ones develop strategies and techniques that can allow them to improve upon both their programming and debugging skills. Debugging processes can be extremely strenuous and while there is no tailored approach to debugging, there are some guiding principles that can make it easier to determine the cause of an error. To help you out here is how to improve your debugging skills:

Get as much initial information about the problem

Before you begin the process of debugging a small and inconsequential issue, take the time to figure out as much about the potential problem as you can. Start by figuring out whether you have encountered the error in question before in production debugging so that you can set a course of action.

If the problem is new, try and understand how long it has been ongoing and whether it is only visible to you or other people. Learning as much as you can through crash logs, user reports, error logs, and so on can help you understand the scope of the problem fully so that you can start working on possible solutions without wasting your time.

Talk to other developers that will allow you to ask the right questions

If you can, try talking to developers and see if they can guide you in the right direction. When you ask the right questions, it will allow you to form a basis of debugging depending on what your objectives, constraints and settings are. Be careful to ask the right questions, however, because asking the wrong ones can send you spiralling out of control or lead to wrong and irrelevant information.

Debug another developer’s code

Not only will debugging another developer’s code allow you to expand upon the skills that you already have, but it will also allow you to acquire new skills. Furthermore, it is often so much easier to point out errors in another developer’s code than it is to do the same with your own. If you opt to cross-peer another developer’s code, it will also enable you to recognize common errors more quickly while allowing you to abandon your own negative development habits and practices.