The X-Factor: Or, How To Debug

Have you ever been around a person, or maybe you are that individual, who has the innate ability to figure out what’s wrong with _____? Merely glancing at the computer that is behaving strangely causes the problem to disappear, touching the printer results in printed pages, or opening the hood of the car stops the squealing?

It’s a strange phenomenon, but certain people possess the ability to diagnose a situation, survey the playing field, and effectively implement a solution. I’m sure you’ve seen it happen before.

Truth be told, I don’t believe these people have any special magic. It is far more likely they’ve spent time honing their ability to observe what’s going on, consider possible courses of action, and choose the one that has the best probability of fixing the problem.

This is called troubleshooting.

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Nov 1, 2019

Programming for your Future Self

If you are anything like me, you may find yourself hacking on a variety of different applications during a given week. Occasionally I get the luxury of working on a single app, which gives my brain the freedom to immerse itself into the details of the program. However, inevitably at some point I have to set the project aside and fire up a different one… perhaps one that was written months, or even years ago.

Several thoughts have repeatedly surfaced as I re-familiarize myself with an old project. Instead of having to collect them each time, I thought I’d write them down here, to serve as a reminder.

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Nov 10, 2017