Debugging when Luck Fails and Prayers Go Unanswered
This paper teaches universal, essential rules to efficiently debug any system. Sometimes debugging is easy, but often even experienced engineers spend too much time finding software or hardware errors. When engineers cannot figure out a bug for a long time, it is because they neglect some general rules. Once they apply the rules, they quickly find the problem. Engineers who excel at quick debugging inherently understand and apply these rules; engineers who misunderstand or ignore the rules struggle to find bugs. A list of these rules has been compiled and taught to other engineers, whose debugging skill and speed increased dramatically. In this paper, the golden rules of debugging will be presented in an entertaining way. This class explores aspects of the rules and shows how to remember and apply them in the heat of battle, using war stories drawn from numerous engineering adventures.
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