About smart bugs and debugging abilities

Smart Bugs
Well, we’re back at this problem again. During the day, my browser and eclipse/terminal programs consistently crash just as I am about to complete something complex and time consuming.

Then, today, when this happened to me, I suddenly realized. Maybe the super-bug that was hypothesized several years ago is actually real. For all I can tell, there is a bug in either the operating system or browser that has evolved to a point where I am made to believe that it is smart enough to detect when I’m just about to complete a complicated task. I mean, it takes quite a bit of comprehension of java code, sql code, english language, email exchanges, and IM conversations to understand why at a crash at those exact moments would cause me the most annoyance.

Sometimes, I wonder if all these bug squishing tools, automatic bug detecting programs, firewalls, and human “safe-browsing” habits has given the bugs a special challenge. And in fact the efforts we put into squishing the bugs has incentivized and facilitated an accelerated the evolution of super smart bugs that has passed the Turing test?

Debugging Ability
I’ve found that I have relatively poor debugging skills compared to my co-workers. I wonder if it is because I never write buggy code. Because I’d stare at the stupidest bug in the world, and not recognize it has a bug. But of course, if I wrote the program, I would never have done something like that!

But this points to some of my weaknesses. For one thing, I have obviously not experienced working with bad programmers enough, or have been responsible for other people’s bad programming enough. Certainly, the senior leadership in the engineering organization, who’s been in engineering leadership roles for extended period of time, clearly is able to detect the bugs much quicker.

Sigh… so much for trying for management/lead positions…

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