Musielak Marek

Posted on Friday, March 06, 2009 by Marek Musielak

TheBugger - to see without looking

In my view, one of the most important developer skill is to see without looking. Let me explain what I mean. Assume that we have a piece of code that have some complex functionality. You see it for the very first time and you want to know how it works and what it is used for. You could debug the code of course. However it would be perfect if you were able to see without looking - look at the code, read it and know what it is responsible for.

As in all other cases training makes a master. But still, doing the same thing to many times makes it boring and even annoying. That's why I do really like to practice my skills in some other ways. One of them is minesweeper. Yeah, the same old minesweeper that you had in your first MS Windows. But the rules of the game are to easy for you. So lets make them a little bit harder.

It's really easy to find all bugs when you have a possibility of marking bugs. But what when you can not tick their location? You have to remember their placement, to see where they are without looking at them. First time is not so effortless. Believe me, the second one is much simpler. And tenth is even easier than you expected. The same is with code reading. So don't give up - practice.

Are you able to debug the field without a possibility of marking bugs? Sure you are. If you weren't, you wouldn't be here ;)

Start again

So how fast have you debugged the field?

Any ideas how to make TheBugger more challenging? Leave your comment and I will consider it for sure.

And what are your ways of training your mind?

Shout it
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3 Responses to TheBugger - to see without looking

  1. Matt Nield
    March 25, 2009 at 11:36 AM
    you could make it more challenging my making the field timeout and turn back to grey tiles after a while. Lets say, after 1 minute any uncovered cell turns back to being obscured?
  2. Marek Musielak
    March 25, 2009 at 12:41 PM
    Wow, that's a challenging idea :) However, I think it would be frustrating to be forced to 'debug' the same field many times.

    I also got an opinion that I could decrease contrast of uncovered fields or made all numbers black instead of using several colours.

    btw. how fast have you debugged the field?
  3. Jacek Pospychala
    April 30, 2009 at 10:13 PM
    haha cool. took me 179 secs :-)

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