IT Troubleshooting: Quickly Identifying and Solving Software Bugs

No software is perfect--who hasn't had a user uncover some hidden flaw--but these tips will help you debug efficiently.

Nearly every IT project manager, designer, DBA and developer wants to build the perfect software application: the seamless union of hardware and software, intuitive and robust, with eye-popping performance and rock-solid logic. While this pinnacle is difficult to reach&emdash;and flaws will be found—there are steps you can take to resolve them more quickly.

Countless hours can be spent gathering requirements, creating meticulous database and program design, and utilizing the very latest development tools and techniques. We can employ a seemingly endless array of unit, system, integration and regression test scripts, along with the finest implementation and training plans and procedures. Yet all of this massive effort and intent is simply no match for the one entity that reigns supreme when it comes to finding and exposing the most well hidden bug: the end user. Our customer. We might as well face the fact that no matter how many hours are spent bulletproofing code, end users are going to find problems. The tips below will provide the developer or technical support person with methods to quickly identify, verify, isolate and ultimately resolve such technical challenges. (Also read Seven Free Tools for PC Geeks--and One Quick Tip.)

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