Efficient Debugging Techniques for Node.js Developers

From the standpoint of a coder, Node.js is one of the finest runtime platforms for JavaScript. If software development is […]

From the standpoint of a coder, Node.js is one of the finest runtime platforms for JavaScript. If software development is not done, it is a difficult job to execute. It may happen that the software or program files fail; then debugging is necessary. 


Node.js is a free, open-source runtime system that excels as a utility for all projects. It is quick to use thanks to the V8 JS engine. Node.js, currently used by more than 6.3 million websites, is the framework that developers use worldwide. Its effectiveness is shown by the 50-60% reduction in startup time.  

Errors can occur anywhere, and their probability increases when programs are coded. So, debugging applications is necessary, and the primary goal of developers is to create bug-free, effective applications. Although there are many debugging methods, we’ll focus on the best ones in this piece. 

Without a precise message outlining the reason for loss, debugging could be difficult for a coder. Debugging is thus described as the skill of repairing a broken piece of software. Finding the cause for a problem is more difficult than fixing it. You are unable to begin debugging without a correct error message and complete stack training. 

Controlling Bugs 

As per the coders, JavaScript is considered to be a chaotic language to implement. This leads to the unproductive results and the errors arise. It is being seen that there are certain developers have to struggle with the implementation in Node.js, at the same time some of them miss it. Controlling errors does not mean that to find the bugs and it fix them, but also to make the code more efficient and easier for large applications.  

Developers keep asking themselves “Is Node.js bad at controlling errors?” or “If not, how to control them?” My answer to them is “No, Node.js is not bad at all. That depends on us developers.” 

Let’s have a quick brief about the bugs in Node.js, they are majorly divided into two categories: programmer errors and operational errors 

  1. Programmer Error: These are the poorly written code by the programmer. The code is written in wrong syntax; thus, the code has an issue itself. An example to identify this type of error is “undefined”. The fix to this issue is only to change the code. 
  1. Operational Error: This error arises at runtime and needs to be fixed in a proper way. This error doesn’t mean that the application itself has got bugs but the developer has to think of the way to handle it efficiently. 

Centralized solution to this error 

Idea stating the centralized error-handling can lead to reduction of the code errors, and duplication of the code. This component has the charge of making these caught errors more understandable. The basic flowchart for dealing errors follows: 

Efficient Ways of Debugging Node.js 

Coder keeps on coding the application till he finds the result and the output comes as expected, but when the error arises it becomes irritating to code efficiently. When working on the code let’s say of 200 lines, it is very difficult to hop line by line and check for an error. The question now is, what are the ways to debug Node.js effectively? 

Best of the debugging techniques are mentioned below: 

  1. Debugging with Console: As a beginner, this is the best choice to be made for debugging the Node.js application. The console of Node.js has module which only works on display of log messages which allow developer to track the working of Node.js application. 
  1. Using the Built-in console which will show the log messages to the standard output (stdout) and the error. This module can be directly be imported to the application, for instance console.log(‘A log message’); 
  1. Debugging with Visual Studio Code: Integrated development environment (IDE) has this option to debug the application easily by adding the extension. Once the file is opened in this editor, firstly click on the run view option. You will find the Run and Debug button at left top. After Running the VS Code debugger, it will detect the bugs and if it fails to do so. Then, you will be asked to choose any environment to work upon, and then the debugging starts. 
  1. Debugging with Chrome: The capability of your browser is very important, when working with Node.js applications. The only solution for the browser is to trust the “inspect flag”, which will eliminate the bugs and allows you to debug easily. 

The process for this method is that you need to pass the flag to your node before launching Node.js application. This runs the application in debugging part of the chrome. A WebSocket application is established by Node.js, with which we as a developers can debug the application remotely from browser. 

For an instance, if chrome is used for debugging, then navigate to chrome://inspect#devices page and the below page will open; this page shows all of your node which are in running mode with the inspect flag. 

This way of debugging can be used for finding the small bugs in the Node.js application. 


Above were the techniques dependent upon the platform on which you are debugging, the following topics will guide you through the way a developer can improve the debugging process: 

  1. Printing the statement for Debugging: This method of debugging simply states that when the developer is working upon 2000 lines of code, then programmers will include the print statements at different locations within the code. This makes easy for the developer to identify that which part of the code has the error at specific location.  
  • There are some of the modules to print the statements such as console.debug () or console.log () commands 
  • This is indeed the manual process to be implemented and may have limitation while scaling the application 
  • Breakpoints on important part of the code: When we develop the application it generally gets coded till 2000-3000 lines, at that manual debugging takes backseat and proves to be the inefficient way. In this case, the use of breakpoints can scale up the application and bugs can be identified easily 


Node.js is popular platform due to its benefits for making creative application. The Code written by the programmer sometimes are very lengthy. A small typo can lead to the stoppage of the Node.js application. Thus, performing the debugging to identify the error is very crucial for developer. At times, performing debugging by manual methods can lead to the problem. The techniques mentioned above will help you create an error free Node.js application with the help of efficient debugging. 

We trust this piece fulfils your needs and provides you with answers to your Node.js debugging questions. 

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