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How to deal with Software bugs

By: Walure capital

Published Feb 18, 2022

If you are new to software development or you are aspiring to be a software developer, maybe, you heard tech was the new oil and you are looking to “cash-out”. I have got terrible news for you. What you are about to learn is nothing short of a nightmare or maybe rephrase that to say “nothing short of recurring nightmares”. This is not an attempt to punch holes in your bubble but to brace you for what you should expect. Experienced devs. are more conversant with this particular challenge because it has been quite instrumental in building their software development skills and you too can use it to your advantage. SOFTWARE BUGS! They say nothing is 100% guaranteed. They probably never encountered these guys because they are sure sleep-killers.

What are software bugs?

According to Wikipedia, A software bug is an error, flaw, or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. These flaws can arise as a result of multiple causes, which can be anything from basic human error or maliciously designed. 

Types of Software Bugs

As a developer, you will encounter a significant number of bugs that could slow and affect your work in different types of ways. But some common software bugs are;

Bugs as a result Command or algorithmic errors: You feel like you are your element, tapping vigorously away at your keyboard. You have written several lines of codes and now you hit enter but an error shows up. At a glance, it looks perfect to you and you can not understand why there is an error message. These kinds of errors come simply from wrongly inputted commands. As a new developer, you should do well to understand that you are more prone to making mistakes in this regard. Get comfortable with this hard truth, but something that has helped successful and well-grounded developers overcome these types of errors is to put a system in place that helps your productivity. Typically, the average human margin of error is between 10-30 per 100 opportunities, so you will be fine. To resolve errors as these requires isolating and eliminating possible causes of the error. With each cause that you point out, you run a quick test to confirm. Do this until your successfully narrow down the most probable cause of the bug.

Functionality Bugs: So, you have done your ideation and now you are working hard to implement it. You try out a feature or function and it works, the feeling of accomplishment surges through you and you are beaming with a smile. You take a step back only to come back and try it out again but this time you notice a malfunction. Either the application keeps shutting off abruptly or does some buttons are not clicking as you designed it to. Your first reaction should not be to panic. Ask yourself questions to better understand why you are facing that challenge and also if there are more than one of such errors, then diagnose. Whatever steps you take, keep it simple.

Data Duplication Errors: Another common error you are likely to encounter is data duplication. This happens when certain values reoccur too frequently in a dataset. This can pose serious issues to your work by returning false or inaccurate data. Depending on the platform you use, some tools help you run analysis and fix your code.

Boundary Value Errors: Picture a scenario where you set a command that allows a user to input a certain number of values but on testing, you discover that users can put in longer values than required. These are known as boundary value errors. 

Security Errors: You will need to pay serious attention to this particular error as it subjects your projects to integrity tests. You do not want to have unwarranted security breaches by users or have to deal with errors that can data privacy leaks. As much as you should and would try the most you can to prevent security errors, find comfort in the knowledge that even the biggest tech companies have had their fair share of these sorts of errors.

Non-technical Error: You could easily be misled to believe that all your activities as far as being a developer are solely reliant on the technical. It will surprise you to learn and you best believe that you will learn this quickly, that you design and code for human use. What is the point of having to go through all of that work and discovering that users do not necessarily have use for your product? That is not the most consoling situation any developer would admit to being comfortable with. The truth is, your ego might be your biggest obstacle at this point. But do not let it. Allow this humbling situation to help you understand the user’s perspective. Want free advice? Be more empathetic.

Communication Error: Another non-technical error will have to deal with is the communication gaps that occur between the project manager, clients, and developers. According to Forbes, poor articulation of projects between business and developer came up as the number one reason why projects fail. Ask a lot of questions and more importantly, communication should be properly documented in written format. This will help with making references in event of communication lapses.

Performance Error: This simply points to oversight problems you could encounter with the usage of the software. This can be anything from stability, actual performance, power usage, response time, system requirement, etc. Constantly testing, reviewing, and revising is the surest way to resolve these and of course, gain better insight.

Data Type Mismatch: This occurs when values are not imputed using the right variables. A typical example and easily be seen as stated here.

In conclusion, software development takes no prisoners, so it would help if you developed a sense of humor to help you cope while you strive to improve yourself as you execute projects.

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