As many other techniques, bug reporting has two sides: right and wrong. This post is a small guide that describes bad practices in writing bug reports for testers.
Never provide excessive information. This will definitely mislead developers. Keep the mystery. Be unpredictable. Anyway, they have enough experience to reproduce a particular bug based on the essential information in the report (‘Some features don’t work’ would be more than enough). Well, it might be a little bit confusing… But who cares?
It’s simple. When you prioritize a bug as Normal – no one will fix it. When you prioritize a bug as Critical or Show-stopper – developers will finally realize this is important and fix this bug immediately. So why do you need to spend your time on prioritizing and investigating the importance of each bug when you can simply mark all of them as Critical? Make them nervous! A situation when 90% of bugs are assigned as Major or Critical will speed up the fixing process significantly. Agile..? No, never heard of it.
Off the record: A bug that affects an application’s functionality will always be with higher priority than another bug that describes minor mistake in a text field description.
When you find a new bug that somehow looks like an old one – don’t waste your time on creating a new bug in your bug report. Simply re-open an old one – this is just a practical thing that will limit a number of bugs and make the developer’s life easier (just think about it – 30 bugs instead of 300!). Your developers will be grateful when going through that 30 bugs over and over again, trying to find a new one… Well done, Mr. Mystery, you’ve just made their job more fun!
As the previous paragraph shows, such an approach provides developers with additional (not excessive) information that can be crucial in fixing some implicit bugs. A set of similar bugs that are listed in one report saves a lot of your time. Although the same can not be said about the developer’s time. But hey it’s not a big deal, right?
Don’t be confused by some specific issues that seem like unreported feature – everything you find is a bug. You are a tester – your task is to find bugs not features. Sooner or later, someone will recognize that feature. For example, an angry customer.
Off the record: Professional tester should know how to report such issues as Improvement or New feature. Such a feedback is highly appreciated by the customers.
Bug report is definitely a great way to communicate or focus attention of developers on some aspects of the final application. Mark an issue as “critical” and type “The feature xxx is not easy to use. Check specs”. This will improve the overall organization inside developers team and empower them to further self-learning and development. Well done!
The shorter – the better. There is actually no need to open the description of a particular issue, because all the crucial aspects are in your mind. Try to keep it within one or two words. Don’t waste your time on specifying which button on the page works in a wrong way. Just type ‘wrong button’ when reporting a bug – yep, this seems to be obvious enough.
Off the record: Report the bugs fast with the Ubertesters SDK. Send bug reports directly from you mobile device: write title, description and summary, choose a type and priority of an issue, make, attach and edit screenshots and instantly send the bug to the developer.
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