‘Twas a Good Year — Debugging 2016

Having a Guinness in Constanta (RO) with two gorgeous ladies — here’s to friendship and 2016

John Oliver’s closing “Last Week Tonight” episode ended on a note I’m not quite pleased with. While he himself, the general public and well-known stars from all around the US, and possibly other countries, were flipping off 2016 on camera, I couldn’t help myself thinking, this is a terrible note to end the year on. The entire “fuck 2016” attitude just doesn’t sit well with me, because you see, I’d like to think of myself as a pragmatic individual with a problem-solving attitude, and just like in programming, when you see a bug, you either call it a feature or you sit your ass down and come up with a solution.

Now, admittedly 2016 was nothing short of “bugs”, “compilation issues”, “merge conflicts” and even some chilling “fatal errors”.

A software bug is an error, flaw, failure or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways.

Samsung decided the right year to mass-produce the first time-bomb disguised as a premium phone was 2016. Software bugs can only go so far, so let’s have some buggy hardware on the market as well. Who knows, some may explode during shipping, some might down a few flights here and there, at the end of the day any advertisement is good advertisement, right? Ehm, not quite, and to this day I will refuse to believe these batteries ever went through QA. I know electronics, I know how batteries work. There is no way in hell these passed QA!

Compilation error refers to a state when a compiler fails to compile a piece of computer program source code, either due to errors in the code, or, more unusually, due to errors in the compiler itself.

Once in a while, you will get a merge conflict when you update/merge your files from the repository or when you switch your working copy to a different URL.

In computing, a fatal error or fatal exception error is an error that causes a program to abort and may therefore return the user to the operating system. When this happens, data that the program was processing may be lost.

I’m not sure if Leonard “Looked at us one last time” on his way out when he was told “It’s closing time” but he will forever “Dance us to the end of love” over and over again.

Debugging is the process of finding and resolving of defects that prevent correct operation of computer software or a system.

And I believe this is what people are genuinely like. Sure, 2016 seems like the year we’ve spent a hell of lot of time on development without testing or frankly, even planning. But I have to doubt that there is an overwhelming majority of us — earthlings, citizens of planet Earth — who don’t want to refactor all this, and make it better in 2017, clean up as much and as well as we can all the wrongs we’ve committed against ourselves, this planet, and our future. No, I am not an optimist. Never was, never will be — simply too pragmatic to be one, but I refuse to believe that as a society and as individuals we are destined to willingly reverse evolution, and not better ourselves and our surroundings in one way or another, therefore I solemnly declare 2017 as the year of debugging and refactoring. Code. Ourselves. Our society. Happy coding and a less buggy New Year.

Here’s to 2016 and 2017! Grab a Guinness. Make it count!

Writer of code, blogs and things that live on the web. Pragmatic doer, Lego fan, Mac user, cool nerd. JavaScript and Flutter enthusiast. HMH.engineering editor.

Writer of code, blogs and things that live on the web. Pragmatic doer, Lego fan, Mac user, cool nerd. JavaScript and Flutter enthusiast. HMH.engineering editor.