Fresh perspective as a debugging tool

Debugging tools are widely available, but sometimes all you really need is a fresh pair of eyes. When trying to set up my environment to run a Django project I felt like I was running into issues left and right. Sure, it had been a while since I last developed using Django but what had changed in the past 9 months and why couldn’t I get it working now?! My teammate Nicholas was kind enough to give us a sample project to get started with. He even provided a README that would make it oh so simple…if everything worked according to plan. Of course, that was not the case.

Step 1: activate your virtual environment. Check.

Step 2: install requirements. Uhh…

It seemed my error occurred trying to install mysqlclient. Enter: complete rabbit hole of trying to figure out why my Windows machine wouldn’t play nice. After hours of failed attempts, my teammate kindly pointed out it was downloading to my AppData and not my virtual environment. So was my virtual environment working? I thought since I completed step 1 – of course it was! Alas, it was not.

Step 1: activate virtual environment. Uhh…why isn’t that working?

New step 1: uninstall Python

Step 2: reinstall Python

Step 3: activate virtual environment. Uhh…still not working?

After more iterations of that than I care to admit, I found one tiny comment nestled in a StackOverflow that mentioned: restart your computer after you manually add a PATH variable.

Sourced from Giphy – “Heck yeah reactions”

Now again, from the top!

Step 1: activate virtual environment. CHECK MATE!

Step 2: install requirements. Uhh…”Pillow does not support Python 3.10″ Womp womp.

I’m happy to say that after this final reinstallation of Python 3.9, I got my environment up and running. I don’t know how long I would have gone on not realizing this was the actual root cause of my problem had it not been for the fresh perspective Nicholas offered. Call it a rubber duck or call it whatever you want. When you stare at an error too many times, the best thing you can do is bring in a new pair of eyes.

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