Did You Know that Coding Bugs were NOT named after an actual bug.

Did You Know that Coding Bugs were NOT named after an actual bug.

Did you know that coding bugs are not named after actual bugs?

Bugs are mistakes that occur in software, and they can be very annoying. In fact, if you’ve ever had a bug in your computer or smartphone, you know how frustrating it can be!

But did you know that bugs were actually discovered long before computers were even invented? In 1946, when computer pioneer Grace Hopper joined the Harvard Faculty at the Computation Laboratory where she continued her work on the Mark II and Mark III. The operators traced an error in the Mark II to a moth  trapped in a relay, coining the term bug. This bug was carefully removed and taped to the log book and today we call errors or glitches in a program a bug.

Debugging is essentially finding these bugs and fixing them before they cause problems for people who use your code. A good developer knows how to debug their own code as well as others' codes so that they can make sure there aren't any hidden issues that could cause problems later on down the line

Who found the first computer bug? Well, none other than Thomas Edison is credited with coining the term "bug" to describe a flaw or malfunction in a machine. He observed the following in a letter from 1878 to a friend (which was sold at auction in 2018): 

“You were partly correct, I did find a ‘bug’ in my apparatus, but it was not in the telephone proper. It was of the genus ‘callbellum.’ The insect appears to find conditions for its existence in all call apparatus of telephones.”

This had to do with Edison's efforts to perfect his quadruplex telegraph system, which would have allowed him to send and receive up to four different telegrams on a single line. He came up with a solution to this issue that he called a "bug trap." 

In his later writings, Edison made considerable use of the term, and a biography of him noticed that the word "bug" frequently appeared in his notes. 

He wrote Theodore Puskas the following in November of that same year:

“It has been just so in all of my inventions. The first step is intuition and comes with a burst, then difficulties arise—this thing gives out and [it is] then that "Bugs"—as such little faults and difficulties are called—show themselves and months of intense watching, study and labor are requisite before commercial success or failure is certainly reached."

In conclusion, moth was the first computer bug. The contacts of a relay on the Harvard Mark II computer were clogged by a real moth. It was named as one of the most significant individuals in computing history by Grace Murray Hopper. With the explanation, "First actual case of bug being found," she attached it to her log book.

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