Keeping Your Debugging Weird

Are you sick of people moving in on your charming corner of the debugging world? It’s full of quirks and character, and they’re trying to gentrify it with logical solutions. Nobody wants debugging to be boring and uninspired. Here are some ways to fight the good fight and keep debugging weird.

  • Have a dog walk across the keyboard. Chances are the dog will create a syntax issue that causes a failure before the code where your bug is at is reached. Your bug will be blocked by another problem. It’s like when your leg hurts so someone punches you in the arm. Not worried about your leg anymore, right? Problem solved.
  • Panic. This is part of PDD: Panic Driven Development. It’s pretty popular but it’s right before it’s so popular that it’s not cool anymore. Highly recommend.
With PDD, I don’t even need CrossFit anymore. It’s such a rush. — Developer Kate
  • Challenge your coworker to fix it. Act like you already did it and doubt they could figure it out. Give them a time limit. Healthy office competition is great for bonding. It’s a win-win.
  • Call a witch and let her get the demon out of your code. She knows what she’s doing. When she gives you that rock crystal to leave on your desk, do what she tells you. Obviously, if you don’t, it will just come right back. You have to actively ward those bugs off. I like to wave my rock crystal over my computer weekly. I make sure to have a clear mind and heart when I do it. You think I want to put more bad energy into my computer?! I’m not crazy. I also regularly sage my cubicle.
Wait. You said call a witch? Damn. I just rubbed witch hazel all over my computer. I think it worked, though. — Developer Sam
  • Curl up in the fetal position and cry. If anyone asks, it’s allergies. You’re allergic to bugs.
  • Pray to Code Jesus. Give thanks, bargain and plead, and then simply wait for his blessings to rain down on you. If you want to take a more active approach, you can always call a priest to exorcise the bug.
  • Restart your server. Restart your computer. Restart your life.
I work at Starbucks now and I couldn’t be happier. — Former developer and current liar, Penny
  • Wipe your computer. Find a job at a new company. Remember: If you didn’t call that witch, the bugs will follow you. You’re basically cutting and pasting yourself to a new circle of hell.
  • A vegan diet + no sugar + yoga. Omg. Did you let your code eat gluten? And you wonder why you have a bug? Do you even care about your code?! You’re not even taking proper care of it.
  • Do the exact opposite of what you think should work.
I kept trying to get this CSS in Internet Explorer working and then I was like, “What if I just uninstalled IE and acted like it didn’t exist?” Now everything is going so much better! — Developer Teddy
  • Cut the power to the building. This will probably only give you a few minutes of relief before the backup batteries and generator kick in. But it’s worth it to see all the lights go out. Helps you keep the faith because you know it’s only a matter of time until they go out on your bug. That kind of inspiration is invaluable.

The mainstream approach would be to turn the bug into a feature but don’t you want to express yourself through debugging and wear your pieces of debugging flair proudly?

It’s important for our industry that we maintain our diverse debugging culture. The statistics are clear: without it, we’d have boring products that only appealed to one demographic. That’s the one that likes everything the same (purely logical solutions) and they are overly represented. It’s up to us to stand up for the debugging minority, as well as for creativity, passion, and magic. These are also important components to successful debugging. #keepdebuggingweird