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Debug It! by Paul Butcher

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Stand Back—I’m Going to Try Science

Although you’re going to be using various tools and techniques and leveraging your software itself to help you, your primary asset is and always will be your intellect. Diagnosis takes place within your mind, not within your computer.

Balance creativity with rigor.

The mind-set you need to cultivate when debugging is similar (because the problem is similar) to that of a detective solving a crime or a scientist investigating a new phenomenon. Open-minded at the same time as methodical, creative at the same time as thorough—as with so many other aspects of software development, effective bug fixing is all about finding the appropriate balance between these apparently contradictory demands.

The scientific ...

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