I’ve got this code that I’m debugging for a while now. I’m not sure what’s it causing it to fail, but each time I execute it, all scripts run smoothly until a certain point. And then…they break into a complete and utter mess. My screen gets flooded with errors, my logs fill with bad requests. What did I do wrong? Where did I make the fatal mistake that lead me to this point?
To get the answer to my problem, I need to understand it first. I need to unravel its secrets. I need to become the bug.
So, then, what is a bug? A bug is an error. A mistake in the code of an app. Of a site. Of our lives. Most of the time we’re not even aware about the bugs that we’re creating. Until it’s too late, that is.
Bugs manifest mostly when we’re working with complex structures. Because as much as we want to think about the macro universe and the implications between all the systems, all the clusters, we end up focusing on something micro. And do the big tasks bit by bit. Unaware that one thing we’re creating might make another one fail.
We humans are forgetful creatures. We don’t have the capacity to always be aware of everything around us. It would be too much. So, because of our ignorance, bugs are being created. And perpetuated.
Some bugs are so hard to find and crush that they affect generations. A legacy of buggy software. A genealogical tree of buggy lives.
The sins of our fathers, perpetually forcing us to adapt. We carry our bugs from birth ’till death. Fixing them. Patching. Allowing them to coexist. Mutating into something new. A hybrid code that no one thought could compile and execute.
As much as one would argue about the predictability of our human nature, our randomness and variety ensures that no scripts can be written once to tell the universal truth. As in most of the things that happen in this world, evolution is a road to take.
So why are so many bugs during this trip we’re in? In our apps. In our minds. That cause critical failures, security issues and broken characters?
We’re always rushing to update to the next version. We don’t test enough, we don’t have the proper Q&A procedures. We just deploy code without caring too much. Focused more on the shiny new features. The world is hip, the world is savage, the world is sexy. What’s next? What’s new in this version of you? You need to reinvent yourself. Faster. Better. Over and over again.
In this race we’re constantly forgetting about legacy. Our code is not that young, regardless what you might say. The platform was created long ago and as much as it has evolved and mutated, it still holds kernels of the old systems. And this is by far not a bad thing. Legacy is important. Backwards compatibility. But sometimes, somehow, we retain the worst from our past. And we keep pushing and mutating it into new things. Changing our frustrations, our insecurities. Tracking them, sharing them, promoting them.
The products that we consume are the crowning jewels of our imperfect processes. Yolo, right? Who has enough time these days to do anything worthwhile? Instead let’s focus on these bugs that need smashing asap. Fixing and patching ’till eod. That’s going to take a while. That’s going to pay for your kid’s education. And constitute your pension. That’s going to take you to Tahiti in that romantic holiday you’ve always wanted. And, of course, that’s going to allow you to buy all those fancy things you’ve always wanted. Now only at IKEA.com for 9.99$.
You might say that I’m way to critical about the whole thing and that, as always I’m over analyzing. Saying the same things over and over again with different words. But isn’t that what people have been doing for the past centuries? Inventing new ways to tell the old? Innovation in a consumer market represents the slickest app that responds to the oldest (and biggest) of desires.
So we’re not that new. And not that clean. We’re buggy. We break. We want faster and better fixes. And we’re always connected. That’s the itch. There’s no conceivable moment in time when we shouldn’t be connected. Because we want to belong. To feel closer even if we’re farther away. To be included. To be liked. And followed.
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And in the end, is it all that bad? The globe is still spinning around, right? The world is not going anywhere anytime soon, is it? We’re going to live out our hyperfast, hyperconnected lives thinking a lot about why doesn’t the checkout button in our favorite online shop doesn’t work properly today, about why does Apple Watch show less steps than yesterday on the same distance you walked on and, in the end, why does Tinder keep crashing when I try to swipe right?