Visual Studio 2015 Debugging Tips and Tricks

Debugging is critical for the successful deployment of projects and applications. Visual Studio 2015 debugger includes a wide range of features to enhance productivity of developers.

Andrew Hall, Program Manager, Visual Studio Diagnostics recently gave sessions at Build and Ignite conferences to highlight new features of Visual Studio 2015 debugger.

In order to debug applications from within Visual Studio 2015, you need to make use of Step Over (F10) and Step Into (F11). This will take you to the beginning of the application which eliminates the need to find the line of code in the correct source file to place the breakpoint on. You can restart debugging which enables you to quickly restart your application with debugging enabled.

You need not have to select ‘Stop Debugging’ and wait for the IDE to return to design mode, and then click Start Debugging again. You should configure solution for multiple startup projects to enable launch of multiple projects without debugging.

Start Debugging - Visual Studio 2015

If you set Next Statement it will allow you to control what code will execute next, including re-executing code that has already run. This feature is helpful for testing conditional branches of code without the need to modify the input to correctly satisfy the conditions for the desired code path. The Step Into Specific allows developers to choose which function you step into when multiple functions are called on the same line of code.

Execution Control

If you make use of Run to Cursor, it will create a one-time breakpoint so you don’t have to remember to unset it when you are done. This option is available from the context menu in the editor or using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+F10). It will also work in the Call Stack window.

In order to inspect data, you need to make use of Debugger visualizers and DebuggerDisplay attributes to modify how the debugger displays variable values. Some of the improvements added to Visual Studio 2015 are exception settings window, Lambda expression support, PerfTips and the Diagnostic Tools window.

Useful Links

Debugger Tips and Tricks for .NET Developers with Visual Studio 2015 (Build)

Debugger Tips and Tricks for .NET Developers with Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 (Ignite)

Visual Studio Debugging Tips and Tricks

Conditional breakpoints

Hit count breakpoints

Filter breakpoints


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