debugging vs. troubleshooting

Discussion in 'English Only' started by eli7, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. eli7

    eli7 Senior Member

    Tehran; Iran
    Persian (Farsi)

    What is the difference between the usage of "troubleshooting" and "debugging"?
    I want to use one of these words in a sentence concerning solving the problems of the students in the class after teaching a lesson. Which verb fits in this kind of sentence?

  2. Truffula

    Truffula Senior Member

    English - USA
    The difference to a professional software developer is:

    "Debugging" usually refers to the act of finding out what is causing a bug in a computer program, done by a person with the ability and authorization to change the computer program to fix the bug once the problem is found and pinned down.

    "Troubleshooting" usually refers to the act of finding out how to fix or work around a problem in a computer program one is trying to get to run. Usually it is done by a person who does not have the option to alter the code, but has a program that is supposed to already be debugged. It involves finding conflicts in configuration or the like.

    There are definitely overlaps, but they have different main usages. I would suggest that in your context of classroom work, that you use "troubleshooting" most of the time. "Debugging" would apply mostly when attempting to figure out how to alter the lesson plan so the problem does not reoccur on subsequent attempts to teach the same lesson.
  3. rooster99 Member

    English- London
    I believe debugging is steps carried out by the programmer to find and reduce bugs in a programme and troubleshooting is steps carried out by an end user to try and fix any problems they are having. I've only ever heard these words used in a technical sense (not as everyday words)
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  4. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Source: What is the Difference Between Troubleshooting, Testing, and Debugging?
  5. e2efour

    e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 76)
    UK English
    I don't think that debugging is a natural word to use since it comes specifically from computer programming. I am not familiar with its general use.
    Troubleshooting mainly concerns problems where a physical device or system is not working properly.
    A troubleshooter is someone who solves problems generally, although I'm not clear about what kind of problems you are thinking of after a lesson. :)

    Perhaps you could provide us with a sentence using one of these words. If they don't fit, we may be able to suggest a more suitable verb.
  6. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    As you may know, "debugging" has its origins in computer programming, and is a little unusual outside of that context.
    "Troubleshooting" is a more general term and seems more appropriate for your situation.
    I'm an etymology fan, so I have to add that the term "debugging" originated with an actual bug, an insect, specifically a moth,
    which interfered with a relay in an early computer, and which was manually removed by Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, of the U.S. Navy,
    a legendary figure in the history of computing.
  7. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    eli7, I don't think that the two words can work in your context. They mainly refer to technical problems like computers etc.
    You want to use the two words in the classroom in order to solve students' problems. Don't you? In my opinion it's not appropriate to use the two words for students or classroom.
  8. Truffula

    Truffula Senior Member

    English - USA
    It would be appropriate to use the words if what you are teaching is technical and computer related, because the other instructors and the students would understand the metaphor. But if you're teaching a class that does not have much computer related expertise, maybe a medical metaphor like diagnosing the problem, or a literary metaphor like editing the lesson or a visual metaphor like clarifying the classroom presentation would be more successful?

Share This Page