Debugging is a routine task in software development. Bugs can be caused by syntax errors, incorrect algorithms, incomplete loops, or other things entirely.
According to ACM Queue, developers spend thirty-five to fifty percent of their time validating and debugging software, and debugging, testing, and verification can cost fifty to seventy-five percent of the total budget of a software project.
Browser Console Tools
The console object provides access to the browser’s debugging console via methods including console.log, console.trace, console.assert, and console.group. The following are some examples:
console.log() is used for outputting text to the console. For example, to output a single object to the console, run this code:
The output will be:
You can also output multiple objects by listing them with the .info() method, as the following:
The output will be:
The .trace() method will show you the call path taken to reach the point at which you called console.trace(). For example, in this code:
The output of the code will look something like this:
This is handy when you need to find all of the places in your code that call for a particular function. Just call console.trace() at the point where the function is declared.
Check our MDN Web docs for more about the browser console methods.
React Developer Tools
VS Code Built-In Debugger Tool
If you use the popular Visual Studio Code editor, it comes with a powerful debugger that helps accelerate your edit, compile, and debug loop. The VS Code documentation offers excellent information on how to use it.
Linting/Code Formatting Tools
Prettier is an opinionated code formatter. Just save and your code will be formatted automatically. Your team won’t need to discuss style in code review — just add a prettierrcdocument at the root of your project with the required style options.
The ESLint website offers detailed documentation in how to configure ESLint for your needs.
Faker can be installed using any of the following:
The Faker guide offers a detailed explanation of installation and usage in the browser, Node applications, and Deno applications.
Documentation is a key part of the code review process because it helps developers, testers, and QA engineers to more easily understand the codebase, making maintenance easy. However, the documentation process can be complex, which is where these tools can help.
Postman allows you to build, test, and document APIs and web applications. It can be integrated into your application using the Postman API, and it offers a built-in tool to mock data for API testing. Postman has extensive documentation and a cheat sheet.
Swagger is a JSON schema that describes the structure of an API. It’s a good tool for documenting APIs and web applications. Swagger helps you automatically generate and update API documents, ensuring they stay up to date as the API evolves.
Testing helps to ensure that your code is working as expected and is bug-free. It also ensures that updates don’t introduce new bugs or break other parts of the codebase. These tools save you the trouble of manual testing.
Code Completion Tools
Code completion is the process of providing coding suggestions during programming, which helps you to write code faster and more efficiently. The following tools will enhance the consistency and readability of your code.
GitHub Copilot is a GitHub-powered, open-source code review tool that helps you write code faster and with less work. It simplifies coding with a new or unfamiliar language or framework. It’s available as an extension for VS Code, JetBrains, and Neovim.
The tools listed in this article offer some solid options for your software projects. Using them, you’ll be able to write code faster and more efficiently for a better-quality development lifecycle.