Tracking down bugs

One of the hardest aspects of writing code is debugging it when it doesn’t want what you expect. In one of my past jobs, I was given the task of making a server stable which meant finding a bug buried in thousands of lines of code that I really didn’t understand. No one gave me a timetable on doing this, so I worked at it for over 4 months if I recall correctly. Turns out the problem was a bug in a driver that we didn’t even control; I put in a workaround and moved on.

Today I spent over 4 hours working with an excellent QA engineer to track down a bug; he did everything I asked him to do, sent me logs, reinstalled software, tried on a second machine, etc. Turns out that if I had read the log a little closer, I would have been able to fix the bug in minutes instead of hours. Having a QA resource like this makes it so much easier to find stupid bugs.

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