We Love Bugs! They Teach Us to Keep Trying

Tamasin Ford -- 22 March 2015

In computer programming, mistakes have a special name: we call them “bugs”. But unlike mistakes on assignments and tests at school, bugs don’t come at the end to tell you that you didn’t succeed. They show up all along the way to help you learn and make your project better! They also offer some great life lessons.

Bugs teach patience

A bug may be hard to figure out, or confusing. Many times it can be frustrating. But anger never solves it. Bugs are only solved when you stop and think about what was supposed to happen and why it didn’t happen.

Bugs teach pattern matching

The first thing you do when you see a bug, is think about whether you’ve seen this before and know how to solve it. The other very useful approach is to look for working code and see how your buggy code is different.

Bugs teach resourcefulness

The source of the bug may not always be obvious. It may require several tries, some research and asking your friend or teacher before you figure it out.

Bugs are a great equalizer. The wonderful thing about bugs is that everybody has them. Even the best programmers have bugs in their code - they are just very skilled in finding and fixing them.

The research is clear that persistence and grit are major factors in our kids’ success. When doing coding, these muscles are build and practiced through bug-fixing. It turns out that errors can sometimes be our greatest friends!

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