Introduction to Bugs

“First actual case of bug being found.”

The story goes that on September 9th, 1947, computer scientist Grace Hopper found a moth in the Harvard Mark II computer’s log book and reported the world’s first literal computer bug. However, the term “bug”, in the sense of technical error, dates back at least to 1878 and with Thomas Edison.

On your programming journey, you are destined to encounter innumerable red errors. Some even say that debugging is over 75% of the development time. But what makes a programmer successful isn’t avoiding errors; it’s knowing how to find the solution.

In Java, there are many different ways of classifying errors, but they can be boiled down to three categories:

  • Syntax errors: Errors found by the compiler.
  • Run-time errors: Errors that occur when the program is running.
  • Logic errors: Errors found by the programmer looking for the causes of erroneous results.

Generally speaking, the errors become more difficult to find and fix as you move down the above list.

In this lesson, we will be looking at different errors and different error messages, and we’ll teach you how to think about errors in your code a little differently.


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