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What is Debugging and Why is it important?

Published on Aug 02,2019 106 Views
Sayantini
A Data Science Enthusiast with in-hand skills in programming languages such as... A Data Science Enthusiast with in-hand skills in programming languages such as Java & Python.
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A Software Application needs to be error-free before going out in the market. Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance for any organization and only a bug-free product can keep your customer happy. In this article, we will see what is debugging and how it is different from software testing in the following sequence:

Let’s begin.

What is Debugging?

Software programs undergo heavy testing, updating, troubleshooting, and maintenance during the development process. Usually, the software contains errors and bugs, which are routinely removed. Debugging is the process of fixing a bug in the software.

debugging - what is debugging- edureka

It refers to identifying, analyzing and removing errors. This process begins after the software fails to execute properly and concludes by solving the problem and successfully testing the software. But, it is considered to be an extremely complex and tedious task because errors need to be resolved at all stages of debugging.

Why do we need Debugging?

The process of debugging begins as soon as the code of the software is written. Then, it continues in successive stages as code is combined with other units of programming to form a software product. Debugging has many benefits such as:

  • It reports an error condition immediately. This allows earlier detection of an error and makes the process of software development stress-free and unproblematic.
  • It also provides maximum useful information of data structures and allows easy interpretation.
  • Debugging assists the developer in reducing useless and distracting information.
  • Through debugging the developer can avoid complex one-use testing code to save time and energy in software development.

Steps involved in Debugging

The different steps involved in the process of debugging are:

 

debuuging steps - what is debugging - edureka

 

1. Identify the Error: A bad identification of an error can lead to wasted developing time. It is usual that production errors reported by users are hard to interpret and sometimes the information we receive is misleading. It is import to identify the actual error.

2. Find the Error Location: After identifying the error correctly, you need to go through the code to find the exact spot where the error is located. In this stage, you need to focus on finding the error instead of understanding it.

3. Analyze the Error: In the third step, you need to use a bottom-up approach from the error location and analyze the code. This helps you in understanding the error. Analyzing a bug has two main goals, such as checking around the error for other errors to be found, and to make sure about the risks of entering any collateral damage in the fix.

4. Prove the Analysis: Once you are done analyzing the original bug, you need to find a few more errors that may appear on the application. This step is about writing automated tests for these areas with the help of a test framework.

5. Cover Lateral Damage: In this stage, you need to create or gather all the unit tests for the code where you are going to make changes. Now, if you run these unit tests, they all should pass.

6. Fix & Validate: The final stage is the fix all the errors and run all the test scripts to check if they all pass.

Debugging Strategies

  • It is important to study the system in depth in order to understand the system. It helps the debugger to construct different representations of systems that are to be debugged.
  • Backward analysis of the problem traces the program backward from the location of failure message in order to identify the region of faulty code. You need to study the region of defect thoroughly to find the cause of defects.
  • Forward analysis of the program involves tracking the program forward using breakpoints or print statements at different points in the program. It is important to focus on the region where the wrong outputs are obtained.
  • You must use the past experience of the software to check for similar problems. The success of this approach depends on the expertise of the debugger.

Debugging Tools

 

Debugging tools - what is debugging - edureka

 

Debugging tool is a computer program used to test and debug other programs. There are a lot of public domain software like gdb and dbx that you can use for debugging. Also, they offer console-based command-line interfaces. Some of the automated debugging tools include code-based tracers, profilers, interpreters, etc.

Here is a list of some of the widely used debuggers:

  • Radare2
  • WinDbg
  • Valgrind

With this, we have come to the end of our article. I hope you understood what is debugging and the different stages involved in the process of debugging.

Now that you have understood what is debugging, check out the Software Testing Fundamentals Course by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 250,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe. This course is designed to introduce you to the complete software testing life-cycle. You will be learning different levels of testing, test environment setup, test case design technique, test data creation, test execution, bug reporting, CI/CD pipeline in DevOps, and other essential concepts of software testing. 

Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of “What is Debugging” and we will get back to you.

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