What is debugging? Debugging refers to the detection and removal of existing and potential errors or bugs in software code. These bugs that can either make the software behave unusually or likewise, crash.
Debugging prevents incorrect function or behavior of a software or system. It is used in finding and resolving defects or errors. Debugging is more challenging to do if the different modules or subsystems are tightly coupled. Hence, any change in one module might cause bugs to appear on another. Therefore, more time will be needed.
To debug a program, the user has to start with a problem, isolate the source code of the problem, and then fix it. A user of an application must know how to fix the issue as knowledge about problem analysis is expected. When the bug is set, the software is now ready to be used. Debuggers, or debugging tools, are utilized for the identification of coding defects at various development phases. Debuggers are used to reproduce the conditions in which failure has happened. They then scrutinize the state of the program during that time. Hence, locating its cause or causes.
Steps in Debugging
1. Reproduce the problem.
2. Describe the bug. Try to get as much input from the user to get the exact reason.
3. Capture the program snapshot when the bug appears. Try to get all the variable values and states of the program at that time.
4. Analyse the snapshot based on the state and action. Based on that try to find the cause of the bug.
5. Fix the existing bug, but also check that any new bug does not occur.
Why Debugging is Important
Debugging is vital in the determination of the misbehavior of an operating system, application, or program. Developers utilize similar standards in coding. However, despite bugs or errors. The process can eat up more time than the time needed to write a program.
Essential Things to Give Attention to in Debugging
- Always make it a habit to give comments about descriptions about the date, purpose of fixing, username who fixed the virus, and so on. This is essential because this will help if the person who fixed the bug, later on, wants to refer the bug for some reason for fixing some other fix, or it would be helpful for other users, therefore providing an accessible basis.
- Remove the temporary code added just for debugging purposes like a provisional print statement to check the value of variables and so on.
- When a fault is found in the this process after correcting and fixing, it always has a broader vision. It thinks whether the same error or the same situations can happen in various parts of the software program. This will help in reducing the time in the process of debugging.
- Change and make tests right away when doing the process. Changes can allow more bugs to occur. Therefore, it is a wise move to have a systematic approach to the tasks involved.
Debugging is very important in software quality assurance testing. It ensures that the software product is bug free. An error free software is an assurance that it is of the best quality.