The Steps From Hell — Or How To Solve Unsolved Bug

A few days ago, I had one of these days:

We all have them, hopefully once in a while, realistically, once a week or so.

Like a good millennial, I wrote about it on Twitter. I decided to summarize my frustration as a list of my actions in the journey of problem-solving.

In response, I’ve started to receive a lot of feedback about how this list can be an excellent checklist for solving difficult bugs.

So I decided to expand that tweet into a blog post.

For the Hebrew readers among you, here is the original tweet:

The Steps

Try The Logical Way: 👩🏻‍🏫

  • Use your knowledge and experience to solve the problem.
  • Read the error messages. I know they look most of the time like freighting red lines. However, they can, sometimes, tell you what the problem is.😉
  • Check the Network tab on dev tools.
  • Isolate the problem.
  • Read the logs (In case you have any).

Copy The Error To Google And Stack Overflow 😍

In most cases, you won’t be the first to face the issue and probably someone before you already find a solution.

If this isn’t the case and you found a solution. Congratulations! Good for you. But remember, the software community is built on knowledge sharing, so please, share the problem and your awesome solution.

Also, if the bug is related to an external library:

  • Read the documentation (don’t be lazy, it useful most of the time).
  • Check for relevant issues.
  • Open the source code and the tests to check if something related to the problem area has changed.

Stop, And Make Some Coffee ☕️❤️

This is the best (and delicious) recommendation I have.

Also, If it’s late, close your computer and continue your work in the morning. I found out that most bugs get solved naturally after a good night's sleep.

Tell A Colleague About Your Bug 👫

You can also use a rubber duck, whatever works for you.

Explaining the problem forces us to clear our thoughts. As a result, I’m ending most of my explanations with: “never mind, I got it. Thank you anyway”.

Final Words

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned new things.
If you liked this post, I would appreciate 👏🏻 and sharings 🤗.
I will love to hear for comments/suggestions. ❤️

Who Am I?

My name is Michal Porag. I am a Front End Developer at Outbrain. In addition, I am the co-founder and a community leader at Pull Request, and a Tech Speaker.

You can contact or follow me:
Twitter

LinkedIn

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Front-End Developer at Outbrain & Pull Request community leader

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Michal Porag

Michal Porag

Front-End Developer at Outbrain & Pull Request community leader

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