Valuable Tools to Assist with Problem-Solving Coding Errors

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How Do Coding Errors Occur?

While coding, people tend to run into many errors and struggle to fix them. These errors happen because of simple things like typos. Misspelling words within your code can cause it not to run properly or run at all. Computers can not ignore grammar mistakes because they can’t distinguish right and wrong. These errors are known as Syntax Errors and are relatively easy to fix. Another type of error people run into is a Runtime Error. These occur when instructions are not correctly stated, there are missing steps that were forgotten, or the computer cannot comprehend the instructions given. Lastly, there are logic errors that are one of the more difficult errors to identify. These errors occur when the computer interprets your code and executes an undesired function.

Syntax Errors

While coding, we may forget to add quotation marks to close data strings. These simple spelling errors can cause the code to execute a syntax error. Examples of syntax errors are not capitalizing words because Python is case-sensitive, a bracket to close strings, and forgetting colons in their code. These errors are relatively easy to fix because we need to rewrite a few words or add a few more lines of code to solve the problem. Some techniques people can do are rereading their code strings and searching for spelling or grammar mistakes.

Syntax Error Example

Syntax errors are the most common mistakes because they are the easiest to recreate. These errors usually occur when a misspelling of the function has occurred and caused it to fail because it cannot read the code. Here is an example of what a syntax error could look like:

Runtime Errors

Pressing “Run Code” can give us a sense of joy when they execute the code they were programmed for or dread when our code says, “Runtime Error.” Some runtime errors tell the computer to divide by zero, identify an undefined variable, or instruct it to access something that doesn’t exist. These errors often occur when the instructions for the computer to execute are not transparent or are not in the correct order to function. These often result in the code crashing and can sometimes be challenging to fix. Techniques to fix these errors are making sure the code you put can be read by the computer and defining each variable used within the code string.

Runtime Error Example

Here is an example of a runtime error where money is not defined; therefore, the code cannot function and runs into an error. This happens because the information is missing for the code to function correctly. Here is an example of a runtime error:

Logic Errors

Seeing your code run after executing it can be exciting and rewarding, but sometimes it isn’t. You may not notice it at first, but your code has executed something utterly different than you planned. This is a logic error because your code was executed without syntax or runtime errors. It’s just that it isn’t doing what you instructed. Examples of logic errors can range from using the wrong variable or indenting a block to a bad level. The technique developers have learned to assist them in finding logic errors is this method called “Rubber Ducking.” This method has three simple steps, get a rubber duck, tell it about every line of code and every detail, and then have a eureka moment when you find out what went wrong with your code.

Logical Error Example

Logical errors make our code appear to be working until we realize it is giving the wrong output. This means the code works and functions but gives an undesirable outcome for the data. Here is an example of a logical error:

Minimizing Coding Errors

To minimize the number of errors occurring within the coding, test your code every so often. This allows the errors to be found early on and will be an easy fix compared to being found later on when the code is finished. Pace yourself while coding. It isn’t a race to see who can be the fastest coder alive. Time management is essential while coding because the faster programmers type their code, the more likely there will be errors. Code at your own pace, and don’t feel obligated to rush.

Benefits of Making Errors

Having errors within your lines of code does not mean you are a terrible coder. Everyone makes mistakes. Making mistakes allows people to grow and truly grasp what they are learning by motivating them to solve the problem. Especially for beginner coders, making mistakes should be taken as an opportunity to grow as a coder. Even with the sheer number of tools to assist programmers with fixing errors, they are still bound to show up. Aspiring programmers will be able to put their problem-solving skills to the test, as well as their coding skills.,

Helpful Tools for Finding Errors

If all else fails, other ways exist to help fix the errors within your code. Many online tools were specifically made to find these errors. These tools are known as “Debuggers,” whose primary goal is to determine where and what the error is and how to fix it. These tools can be beneficial when dealing with multiple lines of code because they will allow you to focus on where the problem is. Some of these tools are free to use by many beginners and expert coders today.

Sentry (Debugging Tool)

Sentry is a free-to-use tool to help point out errors while typing your code. This tool monitors all of the data inputted and categorizes the parts of code with mistakes from the others. A log reader also displays your code of where events like an error occurred. This allows programmers to get a heads-up of mistakes in their code to fix them immediately. Having Sentry ensures that your errors will be kept to a minimum and relieve programmers of the headache of searching for the error.

PyCharm

Pycharm is a ubiquitous debugging tool for many beginners trying to improve their coding skills. Pycharm is free to the community and is excellent debugging assistance. This tool scans your code to determine errors and what is missing to fix them. Pycharm is open-source software designed to be accessible to the public as a helpful tool for finding errors in coding. Programmers can offer innovative assistance to their users. This key feature allows programmers access to “smart auto-completion” tools that attempt to complete unfinished or illegible code.

Rollbar

Rollbar is a fast and accurate tool because it informs programmers in real time that there are errors in their code. The real-time notifications give feedback to coders immediately and allow them to fix their mistake before it becomes significant — the rollbar groups up the errors, allowing quick and easy fixes. One of Rollbar’s key features is its failsafe aspect that triggers when programmers run code full of errors. Another key feature is that Rollbar offers up to 25,000 error events to be found for free.

Instabug

Instabug differs from most coding error tools, primarily for mobile testing. This method of problem-solving relies on feedback from users using their app. A key feature of Instabug is its ability to collect feedback for developers to read to improve their applications. Instabug offers a 2-week free trial before requiring businesses to purchase a monthly subscription to draw in customers.

Final Thoughts

As programmers or future programmers dive deeper into coding, they will inevitably run into errors. It is always important to pace yourself so that coding does not feel overwhelming and a chore. These three errors: Syntax Error, Runtime Error, and Logical Errors, are only typical and imply many more. Coding takes time to master. Mistakes are all about the learning process and are the only way to grow. Practice makes perfect and can pay off in the long run when problem-solving. Learning code is similar to learning a new language, don’t repeat what others say, grasp the concepts to teach others.

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