Wasn’t I Cute?

June 22nd, 2007

A variety of influences tonight pointed me towards my earliest published article, for MacTech, in 1999 or so:

MascBug Revisited

I was really just a kid. But I had learned an awful lot about debugging, thanks to my awesome job in the Apple system integration team. I guess that made me feel pretty confident about writing an article – for a real magazine, even. So what if hundreds or thousands of other developers knew more than I did about software development, I knew a lot about debugging! I had spent a few years testing and then developing the Mac OS system file (and system enabler), and was confident that few would be as up-to-date with MacsBug as I was.

Debugging is a skill I have kept throughout my professional career. If you’ve got a bug, chances are I can help you get to the bottom of it. I’m effing good at that. The fact that I can write code is somewhat incidental, because my primary skill is as a debugger.

This is especially handy when I’m debugging my own code, because I’ve got the bug writer and the bug buster within easy reach :)

The MacTech article is antiquated – depressingly so – but many of the concepts still apply to OS X debugging. If you’re at a loss for how to approach buggy code in your project, my old 20-something article might actually be of some use to you.

When it comes to debugging, some things never change.

5 Responses to “Wasn’t I Cute?”

  1. Mike Jalkut Says:

    Just like the old days when “known bugs” readme files were not tolerated. It’s a talent. It separates developers from programmers. To quote a former coworker, “I just write the code; I don’t debug it.”

  2. Jon Trainer Says:

    Wow! Two Jalkuts? Any relation?

    Daniel, you should have MacTech update the article to point to red-sweater instead of your old sirius.com/~jalkut page. …. course that may be more hassle than it’s worth.

  3. Craig Hockenberry Says:

    Weird — my first published article was the previous month.


  4. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Jon: It’s my dad :)

    Craig! Wow, you come from a “fine” vintage, too!

  5. Chris Says:

    There is nothing like debugging app compatibility bugs on classic Mac OS to hone your skills. (Although I still wish for a decent debugger in OS X, gdb works if you’re patient enough. At least you don’t have to reboot anymore (unless you’re debugging kexts, in which case gdb usually doesn’t help anyway).)

    Jon: It’s MacTech, he’s lucky they spelled his name correctly.

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