Debugging
Debugging is one of the most important skills in programming (not limited to the informatics scene)! No programmer is perfect, but a good programmer must learn to debug their programs efficiently; this guide covers some of the most effective strategies.

Basic Print Statements

The most basic way that you might debug is adding a print statement. This is great and serves the purpose for the most part. For instance, we can write the below to check the value of x at a point in our code.
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
​
int x = 10; // some important variable
​
inline void dbg() { cout << "x is " << x << "\n"; }
​
int main() {
dbg();
x = 5000;
dbg();
}
Such print statements are great on a basic level, and we can comment or define them out of our main code when we need to compile and execute a more final version of our code.
However, as great as print statements are, they are annoying to work with and efficiently separate from the actual parts of our code. This is important for example when we want an online judge to read our output.

A Step Further: Standard Error Stream

The standard error stream (cerr in C++) is a quick fix to this. Instead of printing in standard iostream, we actually generate a whole new stream of data called the error stream. Simply replace all instances of cout with cerr. For example:
inline void dbg() { cerr << "x is " << x << endl; }
​
int main() {
dbg();
x = 5000;
dbg();
}
Try running this program and you might be confused about the difference. You will be able to see the output of cerr right next to regular cout outputs. But this is the beauty of it! And if we use freopen to open up file pipes or submit this to an OJ, the program will not include the error stream.
Also, using endl allows us to have stderr outputs synchronized with cin even if we untie cout from cin.

Address Sanitizer

Of course, debugging by print statements is great. But what about runtime errors that mess with the flow of the program itself? For this, we have a clever tool known as the address sanitizer. It can be invoked as through the below flags.
-ggdb -fsanitize=address,undefined
The first flag generates a debug report (in dSYM file format) based on the line numbering of the program, while the second flag can then access the dSYM file at runtime and give meaningful errors. This is great because it helps diagnose (or "sanitize" if you will) errors that prevent the run flow of the program, such as out of bounds, exceptions, and segmentation faults, even indicating precise line numbers. This is definitely a tool you should add to your arsenal.

Possible Pitfall: Simply Compiling Code Mentally

Many beginners are convinced that they can compile the code line by line in their head to notice the error. Sure, a beginner may catch erroneous syntax, but when it comes to more advanced bugs, the strategies above are definitely better.

Possible Pitfall: Rewriting the Program

Rewriting the program is sometimes a good idea, but remember to keep track of time! It is very easy to get carried away rewriting even parts of a program that are bug-free in obsessive hope that something might come through. Do not delete your program. Make a new file!