Friday, May 15, 2020

Simple system to track errors in code and find them easily


Here is a trick I developed during my years as a developer / programmer and team code leader. This system not just helps you to find the location of the error or warning in the code, but also who wrote it (without the need to open Git Blame or SVN log) and when was it coded in written.

They say that grep (find in all files) is the best friend of the programmer. Hence if you see an error in text or log file, let's say "Error: can't find configuration file". So you copy the text and "grep" it. It might be you would find this string in a few places scattered around the code.

So, we have started to give some Error Codes to the error. For example "Error: can't find configuration file (1029)". This will make it much easier and this unique error code is easy to search inside all the code files.

So how do you keep all the Error Codes unique ? Maybe a new programmer will add the same code number.

Do you keep a file with all Error Codes ?

Here is my system for assigning error codes:

"Error: some error description (ErrorCode: 20200515.1271726)"

And here is the format of the Error Code


YYYY, MM, DD - is obvious the date the code was written

HH, II - is the hour and minutes

The XXX is a unique number each of the coder team member identifier.

So let's say a programmer called Dani with code 019 have to add a new log  line with some warning or error. He will add 20200515.0191727 as the Error Code.
Next time I will see this code I can easily 'grep' it and I can also know who wrote this piece of code and when.

Believe me, it helps when the team is large.


1 comment: