Fixing Bugs The Easy Way

Fixing bugs or debugging is a way of making sure that the software products will be of the highest quality possible.

Debugging is the most important thing when it comes to software testing and development. Why? Because bugs happen all the time. Here are some tips on how you can fix bugs the easy way, that is, less the stress.

Acknowledge The Bug

Unless the issue you have found is security-related, tell your users that something is wrong. As a user, nothing is worse than not knowing what is happening. Inform them about it.

GitHub is a good example of a website with a status page that lets its users know when it is having issues. If you work in some ChatOps magic, you could send a bot a message to give your users status updates.

Find a Quick Solution to Fix It

You know what the problem is and you can now reliably prove a fix to others. If you are lucky, you will get an idea for something you can do relatively quickly to patch up the issue. If this is the case, do not worry about finding the perfect solution—just ship that fix. Once it is live, you will have fewer affected users, and the grumbling managers can go grumble elsewhere while you dig a bit deeper to find out what has caused the problem—and fix it properly.

Look for Different Options to Keep Users Working

Sometimes the functionality that is broken is not the only way to achieve a task. If that is the case, use whatever communication channels you have available to let users know alternative ways of getting what they need so they can keep working. The workaround will probably be clumsy and slow, and it may involve doing things offline, but at least you have given them an option.

Turn Off Broken Features

If the payment feature on your website is broken, remove the “Pay” button. If the search feature is broken, remove the search bar. Sure, users still will not be able to achieve what they want to, but at least the functionality that remains is something they can have confidence in, and you will not be inundated with new logs and alerts.

Getting a Second Set of Eyes is a Good Idea

Two pairs of eyes are better than one, so find someone to come work with you. This will help keep you on track and make it less likely that you will follow dead ends.

If you are lucky, your partner will know the system as well as you do. But if not, he or she will still help you stay on track—and will be learning about the system, which means there might be less pressure on you next time around. Even if all the second person does is shoo away nosy managers, you will be grateful.

Reproduce the issue

The best way to set yourself up for success is to reproduce the issue, ideally locally. Bugs become much less mysterious once you can make them occur at will. It also means you will know for sure when you have fixed them. Because you will be able to demonstrate the bug occurring before and after you apply the patch.

Eliminate the obvious

Taking five minutes to make a little list of the most obvious potential causes can be a huge time saver. Because it is often the things of which we subconsciously we are in denial of that are to blame.

Take Note of All the Layers and Players

It can be easy to forget a part of a system that you do not often change or think about, such as a load balancer or a piece of middleware that validates a user’s cookie. Making a list of the stack that a user request passes through can help you broaden your thinking and find potential culprits you might otherwise miss.

Find Changes

Bugs that have existed for a long time without having a negative impact will likely have come to your attention because something changed. Look at the source control and deployment histories to see what has changed recently.

Think About Next Time

Once you have fixed a bug, take a bit of time to make changes that will improve life for your future self. Write a test that will catch the bug, should it crop up again. Add the logging or documentation you wish you had. You will thank yourself later for it.

Fixing Bugs The Easy Way

Winding Up

Some bugs are more prominent than others. And they can be discovered easily. There are factors which affect the discovery of a bug. However, there are tools which can help fix and resolve the issue. Plus, methods on how to resolve them easily, faster. you only need to to which tool is right, and what are the easy, reliable, and effective ways to fix bugs

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