Var_Dumps are for Chumps: An Introduction to Xdebug

(Title is a WIP)

Over the years, I've been shocked at the number of colleagues and fellow Drupal developers who don't use a debugging tool like Xdebug.  These developers have been 'var_dump'ing and 'dpm'ing their entire career, and may not be aware of the immense time-save, clarity, and utility that a debugger/profiler provides.  In this session, I'd go over general Xdebug pros and cons, give real-world examples of Xdebug usage in a Drupal 8 environment, and show some neat tips and tricks developers can use in popular IDEs.

In this session, I'd cover:

  • Pros and cons of using a debugger over old school methods
  • Why Xdebug is great for Drupal developers
  • General installation instructions for local development
  • Anecdotal examples of where Xdebug was vital in my day-to-day
  • Live demos of how I'd solve common problems using Xdebug. 

My live demos would probably use my typical stack (Docksal/Xdebug/PHPStorm), but between now and the first session I plan on gathering some statistics on what might be the most popular combinations - I'd cover the big ones.

My primary audience would include new Drupal developers and developers who haven't made the leap to Xdebug, but even current users of Xdebug will probably be able to pick up tips or features they didn't know previously.

Non-xdebug users should leave the session with an immediate desire to go install it and start debugging the smart way!

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