One thing's for sure when you're a programmer: You will always deal with bugs!

Bugs are part of any developer's life; fixing them is just part and parcel of it. You shouldn't think of bugs as a waste of time because dealing with and analyzing them adds value to your work!  

As Developers we take on the responsibility of dealing with bugs as quickly as possible, even when it may represent additional hours on our deliverables. That’s why I will share some essential tips to help you fix them more effectively.

Use a debugger!

Debuggers are a vital tool on any developer's belt! They can save you a ton of time and compared to outdated methods they’ll provide unique efficiency. You see, setting breakpoints in the code is the main capability a debugger provides and this will give you much needed time to pause program execution to look at the status.

This is beneficial because it allows us to deep dive on the issue by determining when and how a particular state may have changed, which may provide information about the origin of the problem.

Write them down!

It's always a good idea to list your theories if you have a clear bug report and knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the bug.  Writing something down can frequently provide insights or discard possibilities. It's a best practice and  idea to categorize your first impressions into two groups:

Assumptions & theories!

An excellent  way to start narrowing down the problem and actually fixing the bugs is to eliminate any obvious options that will be easier once you begin to test.

Look in your version control system.

Another tool that can help you to find bugs is the version control. You can take a look at your code in a version where the bug didn't exist, compare it with the following versions, and then identify where was the issue introduced .

Let go!

Persistence is admirable and a practice praised by many, but knowing when to let go is also important. If a project is leading nowhere and you feel like you're pounding your head against a brick wall, then:

Take a step back, rethink your strategy and approach the obstacle with a fresh mind and perspective.

Put an end to your current line of work and try something different. Quite often, when you return after a few days of rest, something that appeared impossible while you were debugging can appear to be obviously simple.

You know what they say “Doing the same thing and expecting different results is defined as madness”

Ask for help!

Last but not least, my final bug-fixing tactic is to ask for help. Teamwork makes the dreamwork work, attempting to push through or pondering on what the solution might be will ultimately lead to an inevitable waste of time. Savvy developers know when to consult others! Sometimes all we need is a different set of eyes and asking for help is vital.

Reaching out to your peers is a virtue. Think carefully about what you want to ask before you ask. Be prepared to discuss your past experiences, including what has worked and has not.

If you want to  know more about sites where you can find help, you can check out our blog Solutions for common programming struggles!

I hope these tips are helpful for you and let you deal with bugs from a different perspective. Remember that we learn the most from mistakes and bugs are just there to keep our minds active and ready. If you have more tips, share them with us, and let's get rid of bugs for good!