Debugging Tips

Today’s post is a simple one…tips for debugging. I have said it before and will say it again…Everyone’s code has bugs in it. Mastering debugging techniques will give you ninja-like skills in smashing out bugs. So these are just a few tips I have incorporated into my debugging over the years…

  • Handle them one at a time. Sometimes the amount of bugs can be overwhelming. Focusing on one at a time makes the task surmountable. Additionally, sometimes fixing one bug fixes others in the same process. Over time and with practice/experience, you will learn which ones to address first in your program that will fix others.
  • Organize your code. This is critical. Messy code leads to more bugs. Think of it like your house…leaving food scattered across your counter is inviting to ants. Putting it away in containers in the fridge…no ants. Use proper indentation, comments, etc. This will allow you to see where you might be missing a curly brace or parenthesis more easily. Side note: some IDEs have ways to do this easier for you. Some do it automatically. For example, when I use Brackets, I use a plugin called Beautify that cleans up my code for me.
  • Double check your spelling. In a case sensitive language, such as JavaScript, this is even more critical. 
  • Do not forget to escape characters. Have a quote you want to output to the screen? Forget to escape it and it might become a bug.
  • Shadow variables. Be aware of the scope of your variables and when a local variable might overwrite a global variable of the same name. Better still…do not have two variables with the same name.

These are just a few tips for you. There are more, but these are the ones that in my experience have helped me out the most.

Happy Coding!

Clay Hess

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