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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

The time waster is every developer’s bane

April 6, 2010

Every developer’s bane is a problem that seemingly has no cause or solution. Most times, after wasting hours and hours and hours trying to solve the issue, I will discover that there was a cause and there is a solution – but it is the time wasted, the sweat, the tears and the fist pounding that really gets to me.

Last night I ran into such a problem wherein, so far at least, I’ve been unable to find the cause. It is very frustrating. Trial, error, trial, error, hunt, poke, literally cause my app to crash on purpose hoping I can find the problem, comment out line after line after line, change settings, etc. Usually during this process I will end up breaking my application even more and forget how to change it back (thank goodness for Git).

The problem I’m currently having seems to be environmental. The problem doesn’t exist in one environment but does on another. This actually causes even more fist-pounding because I know my code works.

The part about this process that is most frustrating is that the time spent solving one of these minor problems (that have a major impact on the app) could be time spent making a great application. It is my least favorite part about programming. Nowadays it is possible to accomplish an incredible amount of work in a short period of time yet, still, you run into these little time wasting seemingly no cause no solution problems that take a very long time to work out. Grrr!