Why is a problem in a computer program called a bug?

We don’t like bugs! Especially bed bugs, pests that may invade our homes and pose harm to us. All bugs are insects; however, not all insects are bugs. But wait, here’s another bug that we may not like too. Computer bugs!

In this digital age, we cannot deny the significance of computers in workplaces. Virtual transactions and services have been prevalent in companies and businesses. Through computers, employees can do their jobs even outside the official place of business, and clients can get their needs while in the comfort of their homes. Even companies or just about anyone can get to hire a freelance programmer online to help them complete a project.

Computers is inseparable from work as it offers speedy and accurate processes. To cite some, documents can be composed through word processing programs; and financial procedures like billing and accounting are possible with fewer to no errors. Computers can also aid companies in administrative tasks like keeping tabs of schedules and can serve as storage of records. (click here for more details)

With the possibilities being reachable through our fingertips, many of us would agree that an uncooperative personal computer or laptop can seriously affect our daily work performance.

Computers acting up can mean lost working time. It can interrupt our focus and concentration and can cause delays in our output deadlines. Information Technology (IT) outrages are indeed frequent, as said by the 2, 000 organizations across North America and Europe in a survey by CA Technologies. (click here for more details)

When our computers are acting up, we might feel annoyed or, in other terms, “bugged.”

Have you ever been bugged by a “computer bug”?

“Computer bug” is a term that has been ever-present in IT jargon, but did you know that the first computer bug recorded did involve an insect, specifically a real-life moth?

The world’s first computer bug was recorded on September 9, 1947. Computer scientist Grace Hopper had recorded the first actual case of a real-life moth causing the issues with the computer’s hardware.  The moth was discovered by Hopper as she and her colleagues at Harvard opened-up some hardware to find the cause of errors in the computer. Literally, Hopper and her team had “de-bugged” the machine to fix the problem. (click here for more details)

But the term “bug” cannot be determined to have been coined after the 1947 record. Even in the 19th  century, inventor Thomas Edison has mentioned in a letter to an associate that bugs appear later in the invention. Edison said that more time would be required on fixes before an invention or product to be commercialized. (click here for more details)

In most cases, bugs appear because of the errors and mistakes done by developers when they come up with the overall design, or within the components and operating systems used by programs in question. The result of errors in translations between different languages made by compilers also sometimes causes computer bugs.

Computer bugs can trigger errors that can produce more effects. It can be subtle, like in the form of a non-responsive database or worse, like a computer crash or freeze.

It can also pose security issues as computer bugs might enable a malicious user to bypass firewalls. Computer viruses, however, are not similar to bugs. Computer viruses replicate, while bugs do not. (click here for more details)

Computer bugs can come in many forces. Some of these are syntax bugs, runtime bugs, logic bugs, arithmetic bugs, and interfacing bugs. Syntax bugs occur when a user mistakenly places characters within the command. This action prevents proper command execution. When errors occur while the program is running, this is referred to as runtime bugs. These bugs can result when a program tries to call a non-existent function.

Logic bugs, on the other hand, are at fault when there are errors in script functions. For instance, a command bears different functions and therefore arrives in a wrong output.

Another form of bug causes an arithmetic operation to result in numeric value beyond the given range; thus, it is called the arithmetic bugs. These bugs occur due to an integer overflow or underflow. Meanwhile, interfacing bugs can surface when an incompatible application programming interface (API), protocol implementation, hardware handling, or any system is connected to a computer.

There are other types of computer bugs, including team-working, programming, and performance bugs and access violations. Some of the unusual bugs were coined after their discoverers like Mandelbugs, Heisenbugs, Bohr bugs, and Schroedinbugs. (click here for more details)

But computer bugs are not here to stay. Fortunately, software development firms are using a series of best practices to drive the bugs away. A successful strategy can take place with the right planning, organization, and discipline.

At the early stage of software development, some systems can help identify and eliminate bugs. Developers can perform unit testing, and QA professionals can undertake functional testing in a project. When bugs are discovered, that portion of the programming is still fresh in the developer’s mind; thus, making them detect and fix it quickly. (click here for more details)