Walking as a debugging technique. #programming #debugging #code #learning

Kris is totally on the money, this tweet is 100% true. One story I tell to developers is from personal experience.

While working on the Sporting Life* website for the Press Association I was working on a Perl script, quite a beefy one, to populate pools coupons so people could play online.

All morning I was fixated on a bug and I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. My boss sat opposite but didn’t say a word, nor did I realise he was teaching me. After a while he decided the time was right, “Jase, go for a walk.”, I was blunt, “No, not until I’ve fixed this bug….”, “Jase, go for a WALK!”. I got the hint…..

The Press Association car park is a fair size so I did a lap, just the one. All the while during that lap I was talking under my breath about such an absurd command from my boss. My first proper programming job and I was than impressed…..

That all changed in an instant. I opened the door to the office, walked to my desk and before I even sat down pointed at the screen and said, “Oh look, there’s a comma missing….”, made the correction and it worked first time.

Stuck with a problem? Go for a walk.


* Two milestones of my programming career being one of the first involved in the very first online betting platform and second, the first online pools coupon….. this coming from the man who has no interest in sport at all.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: