Technicalteaching an old bug new tricks


This use of the word bug was already common before software was invented—for example, Thomas Edison used it in 1878 to describe problems with his inventions. Some people will tell you, though, that the term derives from an incident in which an actual insect was found to be causing glitches inside an early computer in 1947.

Although bug is older than writing programs, debugging has been an inherent part of writing software since people started writing software. One of the first computer scientists, Maurice Wilkes, is reputed to have said, "I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs."

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