Becoming Friends With Bugs

Re-imaging the way we see code blockers.


11/27/20232 min read

Choosing to pursue the journey of learning how to code comes with its challenges, the most persistent one being bugs 🐛. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just starting out, bugs can reduce the progress of your project and have you hitting your head against the wall. But ultimately, regardless of where you are in your software developer journey, you're going to come across them. Since bugs are here to stay, it's about time we reshape our mindset surrounding them and acknowledge their usefulness in enabling us to become experienced developers 🧠.

What is a bug?

For the non-techies, according to chat GPT🤓, bugs are 'flaws or errors in a computer program or system that causes it to produce unexpected or incorrect results.' Now, bugs can range from a simple spelling error to a totally incorrect algorithm but ultimately, they can both cause our application to behave in an unexpected way. They aren't always easy to identify and their solution isn't always clear either. Some of us hope we can wish the bug away by just recompiling our code (guiltyyy👀) but it takes a little more effort than that.

Reframing the Narrative

Re-shaping my mindset surrounding bugs is something I am striving to do. Instead of huffing and puffing when I come across a bug, I want to be excited - ok excited is a strong word 😅, 'less irritated', when I come across them. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes, it can be exciting to problem-solve and come up with creative solutions to address your blocker. But let's be real, this optimism can be challenging when you are swamped with deadlines and the pressure is building up, but added irritation won't necessarily solve this.

In order to do this, I aim to see bugs as a valuable learning opportunity that once overcome, will bring me one step closer to being a seasoned and experienced software engineer. With every bug solved, you gain more knowledge of how programming works. Therefore, when you encounter a similar bug, your ability to spot and solve it will increase. While we are on the topic, I think it's important to note that having a robust debugging system and knowing when to ask for help will also make your debugging journey MUCH smoother!

So, what's the end goal?

Eventually, as you grow as a Software Engineer, you'll likely face fewer bugs. The absence of bugs doesn't just mean smooth coding; it signifies that you've internalised the lessons, honed your skills, and transcended the typical hurdles. It's a badge you've earned from embracing bugs and persevering through them to gain knowledge. At this point, your experience compiles into wisdom you can transfer to others, and the cycle continues.

So, the next time a bug graces your screen, resist the urge to groan. Instead, smile, as the opportunity to become even better than you were pre-bug has presented itself🌟. Bugs are not just glitches; they are the stepping stones to technical excellence. Expect them, embrace them and learn from them.

Happy coding! 💻