Read error messages

My friend, Bruce, was having issues building a software project. He tried different things to solve it but did not succeed. He spent hours with this problem. Since I was watching a soccer match, I didn’t take time to help him.

After the game was over, I took 5 minutes out of my busy schedule to see what the issue was.

He had a .Net solution that contained 12 projects and 1 of those projects refused to build. This project was a base project where other projects depended on to build the entire solution.

First, we tried to clean the solution but still refused to cooperate. Next, I asked Bruce to show me the subversion pending changes. He had a lot of pending changes but they were simple classes.

After that, we tried to build individual projects until we narrowed it down to 1 project. We knew that it failed to build but we did not see the actual error message.

I asked Bruce to display the output window and read the error message. The error message said, “unable to build project since it references another project with a higher .Net framework version.” Most of the projects in the solution were using version 4.0. Finally, we knew what the problem was. He updated all projects to use .Net framework version 4.5.2 to match the version of the library.

Build succedded.

After spending time with this issue, I came to the conclusion that reading the actual error message will eventually help you solve it.