How to debug your web application bugs?
A web application, once released on production for its intended users, is very likely to come across several bugs. Although, the development of an application is done with an aim to create a bug-free code, it is an inevitable part of the software development lifecycle. Therefore, it is very important to ensure proper handling of bugs.
The development team needs to devise a particular approach to debug the application. Firstly, it is always better to prevent a defect rather than fix it later. A proper defect prevention plan would need every stage of development to be thoroughly reviewed and validated. In fact, a lot of defects can be prevented in the requirement capturing stage itself. However, it is impossible to cover all ends at the initial development phases. In fact, some bugs or defects are not actually development issues in nature, but some bad data or connection issues can also cause unexpected behaviour at the application end.
However, since the objective is to minimise as many defects as possible, we need to check for defects at every stage of the development. In fact, a defect prevention tracker needs to be maintained in order to record every defect detected and fixed. In that regard, it is also important to ensure proper techniques are in place to detect all bugs. While users or testers may report bugs, some checks at the code level can also help in detecting bugs.
In fact, defect detection is the first stage of debugging an application. However, in order to perform the analysis required to find the fault, there must be enough logging present for all the components in the application. There are several issues which cannot be recreated at will, as it may manipulate user data or cause other issues. Moreover, there could be one-time issues, which could have happened under abnormal circumstances – and in order to capture required information of that particular time, logging needs to be enabled throughout the application.
Once the code is analysed and the faulty component is identified, a fix needs to be prepared. However, fixing bugs on an existing application code is tougher than writing the code in the first place, as the fix also needs to ensure that it does not impact the normal flow of other components. In other words, a thorough regression testing is required for implementing a fix in the existing code. It is most undesirable that new code defects are introduced while fixing one.
However, the whole process of bug fixing needs to be prioritized properly. The severity of the issue decides the priority with which it needs to be rectified. The frequency of the issue is one parameter that determines the severity of the issue.
Some web applications which deal with critical information such as financial and demographic data of the users need to be very efficient with bug fixing techniques. The amount of time a defect is present in the application, it translates into bad user experience, and also could lead into large amount of business loss. Thus, debugging the application should be treated with high importance by the application development team.
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