debugging without borders

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 from 3:45 – 4:30pm in B302/303


Debuggers are great when you have intimate access to your codebase, server, and network. Sometimes, all you have is a web browser and some intuition, and you still have a problem to solve. What then?


There’s an art to finding out what’s wrong when you can’t ask directly, when you can’t peek under the covers, when you have to guess a little. I’ll go over some techniques I’ve come across in my years of doing developer support and remote sysadminnery, but we’ll also brainstorm next-generation techniques and help evolve existing ones. Maybe I can’t see your source code, but you’ll let me see the stack trace from rails. Maybe you won’t run traceroute for me, but I can grab your browser IP from my logs and get a reverse trace. Maybe you don’t even know what a server is, but I can help you get some software installed on it from 5,000 miles away. And maybe you’re in Antarctica and you need emergency surgery from an expert who can’t see you…

All of these are real problems that have really been solved. Why, how, and how to do better will be focus of this talk.

Speaking experience

spoke last year at osbridge, spoke last year at ignite, and ran many user group/large club meetings in my days. this will be the first time i'm giving this talk.