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Scientific debugging - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Beemer

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Scientific debugging [Oct. 24th, 2007|12:02 pm]
Beemer
As I was working on figuring out why a webpage wouldn't layout properly yesterday, it occurred to me that debugging problems is one of the purest expressions of the scientific method around. I think kids should learn that in school: if you understand how science works, you'll be able to make things work when they break.
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[User Picture]From: jofish22
2007-10-24 06:16 pm (UTC)
It's also one of the hardest things to teach. We're working on that right now: I've written a section outline for Friday which consists entirely of the TA writing code to produce "99 Bottles of Beer", starting from scratch -- and making a lot of mistakes as they go. It means that students get to see how debugging works, how you figure out what has actually gone wrong, that kinda thing.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2007-10-25 02:32 am (UTC)
I think it's probably easy to teach the basic principles, but very hard to teach all the patterns and tricks you learn from experience.

Hmm... it's probably also hard to intentionally write code with the kinds of bugs you encounter in real life...
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