As your code scales beyond a trivial level of complexity and sophistication it becomes difficult or impossible to know everything that it is doing. The flow of logic and data through your software and which parts are taking the most time are impossible to understand without help from your tools. VizTracer is the tool that you will turn to when you need to know all of the execution paths that are being exercised and which of those paths are the most expensive. In this episode Tian Gao explains why he created VizTracer and how you can use it to gain a deeper familiarity with the code that you are responsible for maintaining.
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- Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Tian Gao about VizTracer, a low-overhead logging/debugging/profiling tool that can trace and visualize your python code execution
- How did you get introduced to Python?
- Can you describe what VizTracer is and the story behind it?
- What are the main goals that you are focused on with VizTracer?
- What are some examples of the types of bugs that profiling can help diagnose?
- How does profiling work together with other debugging approaches? (e.g. logging, breakpoint debugging, etc.)
- There are a number of profiling utilities for Python. What feature or combination of features were missing that motivated you to create VizTracer?
- Can you describe how VizTracer is implemented?
- How have the design and goals changed since you started working on it?
- There are a number of styles of profiling, what was your process for deciding which approach to use?
- What are the most complex engineering tasks involved in building a profiling utility?
- Can you describe the process of using VizTracer to identify and debug errors and performance issues in a project?
- What are the options for using VizTracer in a production environment?
- What are the interfaces and extension points that you have built in to allow developers to customize VizTracer?
- What are some of the ways that you have used VizTracer while working on VizTracer?
- What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen VizTracer used?
- What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on VizTracer?
- When is VizTracer the wrong choice?
- What do you have planned for the future of VizTracer?
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