Tips for debugging software applications

Debugging is one of the most frustrating parts of software development. It's also one of the most important. If you don't know how to effectively debug your apps, then you'll never ship your code and reach users. In this post, I'll share my best tips for debugging software applications so that you can learn from my mistakes and save yourself some time!

Make the code right, then make it run fast

Make the code right, then make it run fast

The most important thing to remember is that you can’t fix what you don’t understand. If you have an issue with the performance of your application, don’t waste time trying to make it faster until after you’ve identified and fixed the root cause of the problem.

The second point is that optimizing code without understanding what’s causing performance issues will almost always result in making things slower rather than faster. Optimizing without knowing where improvements are needed generally results in premature optimization or “prematurely” optimized code (if such a term exists). You should also avoid wasting cycles trying to speed up something that doesn’t need speeding up; this may sound obvious, but it happens all too often! So before doing anything else, take some time and step back from your codebase: look for areas where improvements could be made; ask yourself if those improvements would actually make a difference; if so–great! But if not… don’t bother spending time on them just yet because it’ll just end up being a wasted effort on both ends!

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Use your breakpoints sparingly

Breakpoints can be used to pause a program at any point and examine its state. When you use a breakpoint, the debugger pauses the program before executing the line of code at which the breakpoint is set. The debugger displays the line of code that caused the breakpoint to occur, along with other information about that line (such as local variables).

Breakpoints should be used sparingly because they can significantly slow down your application’s execution speed.

Don't rely on your debugger too much

Don't rely on your debugger too much.

Debuggers are useful tools, but you should learn to use them sparingly. Don’t rely on the debugger to tell you what is wrong with your code; instead, consider it one of many tools in your arsenal that can help you debug an application. Debuggers are not a substitute for good code–they can only show where something has gone wrong. If you have poorly designed or written code, then using a debugger isn’t going to help much either!

Trust the compiler!

The compiler is the last line of defense. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than you. Trust the compiler!

The compiler will help you find syntax errors and logic errors–and even bugs if they are syntactically correct (though some of these may be undefined behavior rather than bugs). For example, if I write this code:

int i = 0;


The compiler will complain about an uninitialized variable named i being used as an rvalue in an expression involving its address-of-overloaded operator (). In other words, it tells me that I tried to do something illegal with my variable ‘i’. This is exactly what we want from a compiler: telling us when things aren’t legal so we can fix them before they cause problems later on downstream in our program flow or logic flow paths through this particular piece of code!

Know how to use your debugger

Know how to use your debugger

Debuggers are essential for debugging software applications. Debuggers allow you to inspect the state of the running application, including variables and their values, memory allocation, stack traces, etc.

Debugging is an art form that takes time and practice to master but there are some basic principles that can help get you started:

Know how to use your debugger! Make sure it’s configured correctly so that it works with your language/framework/platform/toolset (and vice versa). If something doesn’t work as expected while using a debugger then go back through these steps first before assuming it’s something else entirely wrong with your codebase or environment setup.

Understand the language and framework you're working with

When you’re debugging a software application, it’s important to understand the language and framework you’re working with. You need to know how the language works and what tools are available for debugging.

If you’re using an object-oriented programming language like Java or C++, then understanding how objects work is critical for debugging purposes. For example:

  • Know which types of data can be assigned to variables (e.g., strings, integers)
  • Understand how functions work (e.g., parameters passed into functions)

Read also: “Introducing ERP systems

Focus on the problem, not the cause

Focus on the problem, not the cause

One of the most common mistakes I see when debugging is that people focus on the cause instead of the problem. The reason for this is simple: when you are trying to solve a problem, it’s easy to start with what caused it and then work your way down from there. But if you do this, then what happens? You end up going over all sorts of things that don’t matter!

It can be tempting to try and figure out why something happened by looking at what happened before or after–but often times these types of investigations aren’t worth our time because they won’t actually help us solve anything. If we want our software applications to run smoothly without any errors popping up every five minutes (or worse), then we need only focus on finding fixes for each individual error as soon as possible instead of worrying about how those errors came about in the first place.

Don't be afraid to print out values and check variables

You should be able to print out values and check variables.

Printing out values can help you understand the state of the program, which can point you in the direction of a root cause when debugging. If you want to find out what your code is doing, printing out variables will let you see what they contain at any given time during execution.

Debugging is a learnable skill

Debugging is a learnable skill.

Debugging is a learnable skill. It takes time and practice to get good at it, but once you do, debugging will become second nature.

If you’re just starting out with software development or if this is your first big project as a solo developer (or even if it isn’t), don’t get discouraged if things don’t go smoothly right away–that’s normal! You may find yourself frustrated when something doesn’t work as expected; but remember: patience pays off in the long run.

Debugging is hard, and you need to do it effectively before you can ship software

Debugging is hard, and you need to do it effectively before you can ship software.

You need to know how to use your debugger (and have the patience for it). You also have to understand the language and framework you’re working with.

Delivering Quality Code for Client Satisfaction

Delivering Quality Code for Client Satisfaction

RIVO AGENCY always delivers high-quality code to make products great and clients happy.

At RIVO AGENCY, quality assurance (QA) is at the forefront of our code production process. We use comprehensive testing throughout the development process to ensure that the code we deliver is of the highest quality and will bring satisfaction to our clients. We also track the quality of code throughout the development process, so that any issues can be quickly identified and addressed. This ongoing monitoring helps ensure that all code meets our high standards and that our clients receive a finished product that is free from bugs and other issues.


If you’re new to debugging, we hope this article has been helpful in getting your feet wet. It can be hard to get started with a new skill, but we encourage you not to get discouraged! Try some of the tips above, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or look up resources if something isn’t making sense. Debugging is something everyone needs to do from time to time–even the best programmers make mistakes!

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