Psychic Debugging

A peer team member (his manager and my manager report to the same person) was investigating a bug that the Office team had reported about in the Taskbar. The issue was a bit hard to repro and under a particular condition, would fix itself up but up until now the investigation from our side had mostly been about trying to figure out the best way to repro this bug to then try and figure out what’s going on. My colleague got some other high priority work assigned to him so I got pulled in to continue the investigation.

After spending some time debugging Lync and explorer under windbg simultaneously (so I could track the API calls from Lync), I replied with my findings and the bug opener’s (OP) reference became a rather happy moment me. (email summarized and actual details removed)

OP: That’s exactly my reference. 😉

Me: OMG, I’m the new Raymond Chen 😉

OP: I think, it’s a fine example of psychic debugging! 🙂 That’s exactly what my settings are.

Me: I spent some time looking at this and although I haven’t been able to repro this myself, I think this would happen for either of the following two reasons, although reason 2 seems less likely the case. Reason 1 …, 2 ….

OP – are you running Lync.exe under these non-default settings (settings Lync doesn’t ship with) which is probably what’s causing the bug? I haven’t been able to repro this myself but I’d expect this to happen only under those settings due to …

Raymond is a resident ninja, and probably one of the best Win32 devs of all time. So, this is probably one of the best compliments ever.