Good feedback makes the difference

by Matteo Sirri on 12/11/2015

People who develop applications for a living know that writing code is easy. The hard part is making it work. That’s why you need a good debugger, a tool that will allow you to observe the behavior of the application and figure out why it isn’t working the way it should.

And that’s why Instant Developer Cloud has had an integrated debugger since its earliest versions, to check both cloud and offline applications, even when they’re in the hands of end-users.

Nevertheless, feedback from our beta testers has shown that the tool for analyzing debug data wasn’t convenient to use. In these situations the temptation is to make the fewest changes possible, maybe by writing a manual to explain how the tool works.

But since a good debugger makes the difference, we decided to start over, working from how our beta testers were using it rather than how we had imagined it ourselves.

So what did we change? First of all, we made the information more accessible, separating the list of events from the trace analysis, adding a console to display the most helpful information in real time, and moving the settings to a separate screen.

Then, since many JavaScript programmers are used to using console.log for collecting information, we made it so that each console.log written in the code arrives directly to the debugger, even in the case of complex objects.

Finally, we redesigned the user interface of the debugger so it would be more natural and more pleasant to use.

Why am I telling you this story? Because we’ve found that what really makes the difference is the feedback from our beta testers, and you have to have the courage to take it seriously, even if that means scrapping a part of your software and starting from scratch.

So now we look forward to your feedback on the new debugger!

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