Debugging Zen

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Good advice, would have liked to see some actual debugging techniques, probably would have gone to another session.

Rated 4

Philip Sharp at 10:59 on 18 Apr 2015

Really thoughtful talk. Obviously a seasoned speaker.

I enjoyed the talk - it identified things that I find I already do that help add the "intuition" level to debugging. Now I understand what I'm "intuitively" doing and can maybe help others understand these techniques

I would note that the abstract should probably point out this is not a hard technical talk but more of a "how your brain works" talk, I was expecting a little bit more on the technical side of debugging.

I also would LOVE to see a bit on some ideas for how to TEACH this stuff to beginning developers - exercises or how to slow down the C levels freakouts when things go wrong :)

There was some great advice and suggestions in here. It would have been great to at least conclude with a slide or two of specific debugging techniques and tools that are available. The presentation was clear and had some good stories that drove points home. I enjoyed this.

Rated 4

Anonymous at 11:20 on 18 Apr 2015

what i learned: when there's a problem, don't freak out and jump to conclusions. take a deep breath and focus on the problem, not solution.

what i thought i was going to learn: techniques and ways of thinking that are out of the norm.

i agree with liz's comment. re-reading the talk description makes sense now, but putting in bold print "not a technical talk" would help re's like me

Rated 3

Anonymous at 12:52 on 18 Apr 2015

This was an interesting talk, but not what I was expecting, was hoping for some good tips and tricks on debugging. Taking things slow and channeling inner zen is definitely worth a discussion, good references and life examples though.

First the negative: I was disappointed that this talk was not technical in nature. Xdebug, PHP, and I are terrible companions; though I hope to change this relationship in the next few months. I had hoped that this talk would provide some technical zen to help me get over my xdebug trepidation. Yet, this was a soft-skills talk.

For the positives, this was a great talk to remind one to not panic when things go wrong. One should remove oneself from the situation, emotionally, and try to figure out what is actually going on. I enjoyed the real-life example and tried to logic my way through the introduced problem as Ben talked about various strategies. My debugging Zen only succeeded when he showed a funny-looking database record near the end of the talk.

I hope that I am better equipped to approach the various problems I will experience on-the-job with as much zen acumen as Ben reminded us to provide in this talk.