Science of debugging

By Prathamesh Sonpatki

Elevator Pitch

Debugging is part of every developers life. Most of our everyday time is inadvertently spent as “debugging” time.

Debugging can be frustrating, emotional, painful experience. But it need not be. Lets make it enjoyable and successful by following Science!


Debugging is a skill, not talent! It’s more that just using debugging tools.

As programming it can also be developed with following certain practices. Simple things as just reading the stacktrace properly also can make a lot of difference. But it is not always that easy. In this talk I will discuss few techniques which make debugging a rather enjoyable and successful process. Process is important because it can be replicated, often with success!

Audience will certainly relate to the problems that I discuss but more importantly, they will also get some ideas and ways about how to tackle the debugging in a much more systematic fashion at the end of the session.


I think as a programmer we often focus on debugging tools than debugging as a process. Yes tools do help in debugging an issue but having a process following certain rules can make debugging a better experience both in terms of outcome as well as time. That’s why this talk is very important as I will discuss how one should approach debugging in a streamlined manner rather than ad-hoc.

I will draw upon my experiences dealing with my code, others code, open source code and even debugging systems of which I know almost nothing about.

I will also share stories from my experience working in open source code and helping, debugging, fixing issues.