The Case for Switching to Remote Debugging

The Case for Switching to Remote Debugging

Debugging, as the name implies, entails performing a postmortem on a code to determine the cause of an error. Debugging and programming are interchangeable terms in the sense that a developer can find the root cause of a problem without debugging. However, it takes longer for a developer to find the issue by themself. Thus, developers choose to debug instead to locate the underlying cause.

Debugging is a procedure that improves program output, locates mistakes, and finds the source of errors. A competent debugger also employs experience-based logic.

What is Remote Debugging?

As technology advances in the field of debugging, developers are turning towards a new method of debugging—remote debugging—which is particularly useful in today’s WFH age. It allows developers to debug their code remotely, eliminating the requirement to travel to the server and perform code troubleshooting on-premises. Moreover, remote debugging is possible throughout the code production process.

Many offices are switching to WFH models, and entire project teams are often geographically dispersed. Businesses also favor remote development. As a result, the demand for remote debugging is growing as more complicated developments are requiring troubleshooting.

Remote debugging, in layman’s terms, is the process of debugging a program that runs in a location other than the local environment. As a result, there is no need to have physical access to the server. Instead, developers can configure debugging notifications to be sent remotely to their local computer, allowing them to easily correct issues.

Why Do We Need to Implement Remote Debugging?

Remote work increases virtual communication between multiple teams working together to reach a common goal. In this new normal, remote debugging gives developers or server administrators the ability to accomplish debugging without having to go to the server’s physical location. Instead, they only need to retain access to the server’s physical location, which may be done by establishing a source-to-destination firewall rule.

There are a few reasons why remote debugging is beneficial. Let’s go over them one by one.

  • Remote Debugging is Easy: It is simple to implement remote debugging, and it is also cost-effective. The remote debugging setup can be implemented even by someone with less experience. When the developer starts remote debugging after the setup, they don’t notice much of a difference in the debugging procedure.
  • Local Debugger Not Available for Target Application: When the local debugger is unavailable for debugging applications in production, the developer must rely on remote debugging for assistance. As local debuggers can only be configured on the user’s computer and require a high-end machine, there may occur times where a local debugger is not available. On such occasions, remote debugging can be set up for a large number of users without having to bother about system configuration.
  • Application Source Code Not Accessible by Developers: During the development or implementation of an application, a developer must set aside space in a directory where their code can be stored and accessed by team members who have permission. In such a case, the developer must communicate with the source code files in a secure manner. Another situation is when the target application and the developer are both hosted in different physical locations. In such cases, they may easily be placed on a server, and multiple people can access the code without fear.
  • Booming in the Field of Serverless Application: Microservices that work in a distributed architecture are known as serverless apps. In a distributed architecture, applications are separated at the functional level, and all functional levels are single-purpose programmatic functions hosted to control the infrastructure. Because it is distributed, the architecture will require more remote debugging while both simplifying and speeding up the process. We need to adopt a new approach to troubleshooting applications as we move toward distributed code—remote debugging.

How to Implement Remote Debugging?

Debugging is all about collecting data till we can find the application’s root cause. Because we all are operating in remote environments, gathering data can be difficult at times, and developers may have to sacrifice performance. When this happens, developers use tools to install debuggers on the local server where the flawed code is running on several hosts.

These tools can assist the developer in debugging the application and saving the log for future reference. However, these tools cannot modify the code or improve the user’s performance during debugging.

Visual Studio Code, Ruby Mine, Pycharm, Eclipse, Zend Studio Debugger, and others are examples of remote debugging tools. There are many more on the market, and developers who prefer particular programming languages can choose from any of these.


As today’s apps are designed in a networked architecture, remote debugging is a godsend. There may be some issues with installation and debugging applications at first. However, if developers implement it and utilize it with caution, it will greatly assist them as it saves time. Good debugging comes with practice. As you spend more time debugging code and troubleshooting issues, you’ll become more efficient.

Remote debugging is a complete package of development speed and convenience. So, if you have the choice to adopt it as a developer, go for it. You will get more by overcoming modest challenges.

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