8.7 Explain the problem to someone else

8.7 Explain the problem to someone else

This heuristic is helpful when you have used up the hypotheses generated by the other heuristics. If you can’t articulate the problem, you don’t know enough about it yet. Thus, this heuristic isn’t as valuable early on in the process of diagnosing a bug.

Communicating forces us to organize our thoughts so that the other person will understand. Don’t tell the other person your conclusions or the hypotheses that you have already disproved. This will distract your listener and lead him or her down the same dead-ends you have already followed. Stick to your observations. After you have explained the facts, ask for the other person’s hypotheses.

The other person won’t necessarily share your internalized assumptions, and you will have to explain them to make sense of the problem. New hypotheses generated using this heuristic are often related to things you have been assuming that the other person doesn’t assume.

As an alternative, have someone else explain your program to you. This is another way to get false assumptions out of the way. Try to create new hypotheses based on the reader’s interpretation of your program.

Debugging by Thinking. A Multidisciplinary Approach
Debugging by Thinking: A Multidisciplinary Approach (HP Technologies)
ISBN: 1555583075
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 172

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