I think that people who take a computer science degree in college should be required to study debugging. For better or for worse, debugging is an essential part of programming. However, most programmers are left to learn it on their own, in a way that is not true of many other aspects of programming. I believe that it is possible for a programmer to learn to become a better debugger. It follows that it should be possible to teach it.

Naturally it is more important to write good code than it is to debug code. However, reality is that most of us will work with code which was written by other people. Even the best coder will still have to fix bugs in other people’s code. So debugging is an essential skill in practice.

A few years ago I wrote an essay on debugging. I think it still holds up pretty well, though it is really just an introduction.

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