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Scientific debugging [Oct. 24th, 2007|12:02 pm]
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.

[User Picture]From: nehrlich
2007-10-24 07:45 pm (UTC)
It's amazing to me that sometimes scientists don't appear to understand the scientific method, at least in realms that aren't their area of study. When I was debugging systems when working in a lab, I'd start by trying a bunch of different things to try to isolate the problem, and the scientists would look over my shoulder and not get what I was trying to do. And when I figured out what the problem was, they'd think it was a miracle that I could figure it out, rather than sustained application of "hypothesis-experiment-analysis".

It's also pretty frustrating when I'm doing tech support, and I'm trying to include the customer in debugging by explaining what I'm checking and why I'm checking that and what I hope it will tell me, and then they answer me monosyllabically, as if they expect me to read their minds to figure out the problem.
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