Programming is not all about writing code. It also includes troubleshooting and debugging to eliminate errors and ensure the code runs as it should, which can take several days. Most developers go through a phase where the code they write doesn’t behave as expected. You have to figure out the error and its causes before fixing it.
If you are a Java developer who finds it difficult to troubleshoot and successfully execute your code, this article is for you. Here are valuable tips to help you troubleshoot and debug successfully when running Java.
1. Keep an Open Mind
One of the first steps to successful troubleshooting is fixing your mentality and keeping an open mind. Most developers hold the notion that debugging is a near-impossible task. However, that is not always the case. Instead of involving your emotions and clouding your judgment, approach the problem from an analytic point of view and use a logical method to get around it.
Also, don’t fixate yourself on one method or strategy. Try different solutions, especially when you can’t pinpoint the cause of your issue. Chances are you might solve the problem but also encounter a new error. Before seeking help from senior developers or elsewhere, ensure you have exhausted your options.
2. Take Time to Understand the Problem
Most developers go straight to solving a problem or error without fully understanding it. When troubleshooting, take time to apprehend and internalize the problem before looking for a solution. Think about the possible cause of the problem you are encountering and assess the system’s design and functions. By taking time to analyze the error and look through the code for possible clues, you can effectively create excellent hypotheses to test out later and find a solution.
3. Reproduce the Errors
Before you debug an error, try reproducing it. Sometimes, your website may not work in a production environment but functions fine in a local environment. In such cases, the problems you are experiencing may be from changes in the environment’s variables. You may also be storing API keys in your production environment the same way as in your local environment, which may not be advisable due to security reasons.
If you can’t reproduce a bug, you can’t debug it. Consider getting help if you find replicating the error challenges. Be careful not to interfere with the code in the production environment as it can delay communicating with the server.
4. Take Advantage of Debuggers
While it should not be your first approach, debugging tools can save you the time and effort you would spend fixing errors in your code. Common debugging tools you can use for Java include Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, and Java Discovery Protocol. The tools work by halting code execution and inspecting data values. All you need to do is to set a breakpoint.
To ensure you get the best out of debugging tools, learn how to use them, and they will come in handy when solving complex problems. However, before using debugging tools, test your hypothesis and see whether you can identify the problem. With every hypothesis you disapprove, you get closer to the solution.
5. Google Is Your Friend
Sometimes, all you need to complete a task is a Google search. While it may sound like a no-brainer, Google is an excellent platform with lots of resources that can help you troubleshoot Java issues, especially if you are a beginner. If you come across a problem on your computer screen for a code and have trouble understanding it, copy the error message and search it on Google. You will find answers to your problem on StackOverflow or in other developers’ communities and forums.
6. Try Pair Programming
Pair programming can make the troubleshooting process less stressful and more productive. Since you will be working with another developer, you can share ideas about possible solutions and explore various ways of approaching the problem. When working as a team, one person is likely to have answers to a specific problem.
Besides sharing ideas and solving problems much faster, pair programming allows you to share knowledge and learn during the process. If you can’t find a programmer or developer to work with, consider asking for help from the developers in your network, either online or offline.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the best ways to get better at troubleshooting when running Java is through practice. The more problems you tackle and solve, the better you get at it, as it exposes you to different issues and hones your skills. Note that you also depend on your problem-solving skills and creativity when tackling complex mistakes. To polish your skills, look for challenges, competitions, and Bootcamps to help you troubleshoot and debug Java issues within the shortest time possible.
If you are struggling with troubleshooting when running Java, the above tips can help you get to the root of your problem and fix it.