Showing posts from January, 2010

How to Troubleshoot a Problem

Building computers early on in life was an invaluable experience. Fighting with mobos & hunting for drivers taught me more about software development (& customer support) than hardware. I've been trying to summarize those lessons into an easy framework for debugging, troubleshooting and fighting most problems. Below is just what I have so far. Hopefully it's useful in some way. 1) Don't Panic - if this sounds familiar, congrats, you're a geek. You have to be calm & stop freaking out to be of any use. Someone going ape shit in your face is the fastest way to stop your brain from working. So take a moment, read Zen Habits and just chill for a second. 2) Identify the Problem - before doing anything, ANYTHING, you must figure out what's going wrong. Is the page not displaying? Is an error appearing? What's in the stack trace? What is happening that shouldn't be? 3/10 times you will stop here because nothing is wrong at all. Someone wa