Details are King

Here are more tips to debug a problem. Keep testing older versions of the software until the problem goes away. Now you have narrowed down the build when the problem was first introduced. It should be easier to determine what changed at that time.

There are many instances where the smallest detail is the key to the problem. Let me tell you a story. My customer's acceptance team keep making the application crash. They said it happened at random. That never happened to me or any internal testers on my project. So I enlisted the help of the people experiencing the trouble.

I asked the testers to notice everything that happened before and after the problem. What was the weather like outside? Were the lights on? Did you sit close to the desk? Was there anybody sitting next to you? What time did it happen? You know. I needed to know all the facts, even if they seemed insignificant. Guess what? This helped us crack the case.

One tester found that when she swiveled her chair to the right, the application sometimes broke. Also when she dragged her spiral notebook from left to right the problem always happened. This keep attention to details helped her identify the cause of the problem. Each time she was doing these movements, she was pressing the space key on the keyboard. Sure enough that was the cause of the application aborting. Amazing.