Friday, May 27, 2011

The Cool Art of System Debugging

Once upon a time, I've heard an engineer recalling a memory of himself sitting late in the evening trying to widen a hole is one part of some prototype to allow a shaft to pass through - with a file (so low-tech!). When asked by a manager what's he doing he proudly replied - "I'm debugging!".

Given the fact that the word "bug" was first used in the context of aircraft engines problems, long before the famous moth was found in the innards of a computer - it struck me that it is legal to say "I'm debugging mechanical design" or "I'm debugging the electronic circuit".

And then I've realized that it's in the core of Systems Integration - "Debugging the System". To seek problems as early as possible and solve them as early as possible - that's the rub. Now all the wealth of software debugging practices may be applied to the system debugging - with some adjustments - to go beyond the processes into the realm of software debugging psychology, frustrations and other human manifestations of the wonderful world of debugging.
What does it mean - I don't know but I'll try to find out...

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