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Re: Are debugging skills atrophying?

by tinman (Curate)
on Apr 27, 2001 at 21:30 UTC ( #76181=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Are debugging skills atrophying?

I tend to agree with you on your subject title.. I find that lots of people that I know, with significant development experience, know or do less than I do in terms of sanity checks...and I'm nowhere near perfect to begin with...

Its too early in the day for a rant, at least where I live :o), but I'll say it anyway... there are too many people who never bother to dissect all the code that they write or use or actually try to understand the inner workings of their system... Many (*I shamefacedly admit I may belong to this category*) have fallen into the MFC ClassWizard trap, so to speak.. we trust that the code we write is never going to crash, or that it's going to run perfectly the first time...

Sometimes though, its because of a genuine lack of time.. I've had to make conscious decisions to sacrifice complete robustness and error checking for getting the job done fast.. its an awful excuse, I know, but in the world that I work in, no one really seems to care how well I write the code or about what exceptions I handle, so long as it seems to work... rightly or wrongly, fostering that sort of attitude is bound to make people less conscious of the stability of their code, so long as you can push it out the door fast, then nothing else matters....

I think also that what you speak of has its roots in your professionalism and approach to work... if you're writing something merely to do a job, then you take no pride in your work... and you try to do the minimum necessary....

In my mind, the ultimate test happens when you have to extend/maintain/debug someone elses code... if anyone has to do that often enough, then these steps become automatic.. and that is only going to make a better programmer out of you...once stuff like writing readable code and appropriate error checks becomes automatic, then you have more time for the really cool stuff :o)

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