Friday, August 20, 2004

Fixing Bugs

Brent Simmons discusses NetNewsWire 2.0 and mentions that he prefers fixing bugs:

This, luckily for me, is my favorite part of software development. I enjoy fixing bugs much more than I enjoy adding big new features, probably because I can fix a bunch of bugs in a few hours. It’s like eating chocolates throughout the day instead of eating one big steak once a week.

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Does that make me weird?

Maybe it's because every bug is a different mystery to solve, and new features aren't mysteries at all -- they're architecture and code, which is fun in its own way, but ultimately not as much fun as solving the weird little mysteries that bugs are.

It's like playing Sherlock Holmes.

Yeah, solving mysteries is fun, and it's certainly more scientific than writing new code. I think the dislike most programmers have for fixing bugs is not with the work itself, but that it seems like it shouldn't be necessary. If I had written it properly the first time, I wouldn't have to waste this time fixing it. If the OS/framework didn't have this bug, I could add a new feature instead of writing a workaround.

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