Debugging running programs is a core activity of programmers. A wide range of tools is available to aid the programmer in this tasks, with many different approaches and implementations. While research has a rich selection of innovative tools and techniques, there are few studies that investigate and observe how developers use the tools available to them, both new ones and more traditional ones found in widespread commercial and open-source IDEs.
This project involves doing an initial study to gain insights how programmers work with debuggers. By interviewing and observing how individuals approach a given debugging task, the goal is to determine "best practices" for debugging activities. This initial small study has the goal to determine future directions for larger-scale studies and to determine the direction of tool development in our research.