Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Writing Bug Reports that won't bug you...(or the dev that picks it up)

QuickLeft - How to make friends and write a proper bug report

Imagine coming home from a day at work, and there's a note from your spouse that reads:

"Fix the light, it's broken"

You have no idea where to start. Which light is it? Did they mean lamp? Which part is broken? How did it break? Is it outdoors or indoors?

When your spouse returns home, they ask, "How come you didn't fix the light? Didn't you see my note?"

Now think about how the developers on your team feel when they get a bug ticket that reads like this:

"The buttons on the homepage are broken"

I'm embarrassed to say, this is an actual bug report I filed recently. I didn't describe how it could be reproduced nor in what context I'd found the bug. Needless to say, the developer who'd been assigned the ticket had no idea where to start. Truthfully, it even took me a while to remember what this bug was about!



Is there a class/video/dime-cast/Plural sight/Khan Academy/etc./etc. thing on writing bug reports? Why is it so hard to do well? And why do we, even very experienced dev's even have hard times remembering to do them well (let alone "users")?

One reason is that they might not be the recipient, required to take action on them, enough? One of those walk in a dev's shoes thing?

Or is that we all seem to have to re-invent this wheel?

Or that so much that could be automatitcally gathered, isn't?

Or that enough guidance isn't provided?

Or are we all just lazy?

Or a little of all of the above?


In any case, you want to get your bug or issue fixed? Want to get some bug crushing love from a dev? Give them as complete and detailed bug report as you can! You can't provide too much detail, information, already taken troubleshooting steps... Really, you probably can't... 

1 comment:

Glenn said...

And please, bug writers, we know something isn't as it should be. Should you use the word "unacceptable!" in your report, you do so at your own peril.