Are debugging skills critical today?2 min read
I wanted to write a reply to Victor’s tweet but 280 characters are not enough so I figured I’ll just write a short blog post about it. Here’s how I see this matter.
I must admit that “get better at debugging” was never on my todo list, I just learned that along the way when I needed it and now I’m not ashamed to say that I’m really good at debugging code. I even went a step further and bought OzCode(a debugging extension for Visual Studio). But as I said, this wasn’t planned, it’s the types of bugs that I encountered that led me here. What I want to point out is that getting better at debugging was involuntary and I think it’s the same for everyone. Now, is this wasted time? Should I force myself to print console logs instead of using the debugger because my next employer will find this useless?
Short answer: NO!
I never bragged at an interview that I’m good at debugging, but I still think it’s a valuable skill. If there’s one thing we can all agree on is that we all hate bugs and looking for them. There are practices like unit testing that reduce the number of bugs but they can’t guarantee they won’t appear, so eventually, it’s our job to fix them. Now I don’t want to spend much time doing that, so that’s why I think that having debugging skills may save a lot of time, which can then be used to write more code, or even better, write more unit tests.
These skills may not be critical, but they are still part of our job and I don’t think there would be a time where they will not be necessary anymore.