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What is debugging?

Debugging is the process of identifying, analyzing, and fixing issues or defects in an app or software system.

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It involves investigating errors, crashes, or unexpected events that arise during app development or use. Debugging works alongside testing to ensure a program or system meets requirements and operates without errors. It’s an essential process in the software development lifecycle.

Key aspects of debugging

  • Error detection: Involves identifying and understanding the root causes of a bug or issue, such as syntax errors, logical errors, or runtime errors. Developers review error messages, logs, and code execution flow to find errors before they become serious bugs.

  • Code study: Investigating the code to determine where it isn’t working, which can include analyzing the codebase, breakpoints, and data flow.

  • Issue reproduction: Identified issues are recreated in various scenarios within a controlled setting to understand why they occurred.

  • Issue fix: Modifying the code or implementing a solution to resolve the problem, which ensures the proper functionality is restored.

  • Performance optimization: Debugging can be used to find and address bottlenecks and code inefficiencies, helping optimize app performance and increase speed.

  • Testing: To verify that the issue is resolved, the app or system is tested to ensure the fix is complete and doesn’t introduce new issues.

  • Documentation: To help developers understand how the app works, debugging requires documentation so code fixes can be referred to in the future.

The two approaches to debugging

  • Reactive debugging: Used with existing code, the developer monitors and responds to errors in real time to find and fix the root cause of errors.

  • Proactive debugging: Focused on finding errors before they occur, this process occurs during development. Developers use tools to search out potential problems before writing code, helping to prevent errors from occurring in the first place.

Debugging is an iterative process that may require multiple attempts to resolve a complex issue. It’s commonly paired with testing, which finds bugs so they can be resolved before becoming significant. API platforms like Sendbird and others provide testing and debugging tools that aid developers in launching in-app communications that perform well from the start.

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