Main image of article Daily Tip: Debug Early, Debug Often
Over the past month, online pundits have drawn attention to what they perceive as a growing number of flaws with Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X operating systems. Both platforms are buggier by the year, they argue, as a consequence of Apple’s laser focus on producing major updates every autumn or so. If you’re a programmer or developer, bugs are a part of life. But when major bugs crop up in a shipped product, it can create huge problems: You need to build and release a patch, inform customers about the issue, handle the inevitable blowback from irate people—all while hoping that your efforts actually fix the bug without breaking anything else. When writing code, make it a point to debug every line, which usually means running your work through a debugging tool (unless it’s a short program, nobody’s expecting you to go through your code line by line). Yes, that takes time, and no, you won’t catch everything—but if you can nail enough bugs that would’ve caused you some major problems in the real world, the effort will likely have been worth it. (And yes, you can also do a thorough bug-hunt without engaging in schedule-killing perfectionism.)

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