The importance of raising high quality bugs should not be underestimated. When you raise a bug, whether it is directly with a developer through a face to face conversation, or you use a Testing Tool to communicate this information – it is important that you do this properly. As Testers, our role is to communicate information about the software quality. The bugs we raise, is one of the ways in which we do this.
Many of us, have probably face problems around convincing people that certain bugs should be fixed or have found that people ‘missed the point’ of the bugs we raised. Below, I will provide a few tips to help you advocate for the bugs you raise and communicate this information effectively.
A few long paragraphs in the same format may be difficult to read for someone is trying to assess whether a bug should be fixed for the upcoming release. Chances are, there are plenty of opportunities where you can utilise formatting to help you get your point across. Remember, the person who is reading your bug report should not have to struggle to understand what you are saying.
- If there is a specific sentence you want to try attention to, use bold formatting.
- If there’s a lot of information you need to provide in the bug, try breaking it up into chunks and provide sub-headings.
When you come across a bug that you are unable to immediately replicate, it can be rather frustrating. You may then ask yourself whether or not it is worth raising. The fact that you are unable to replicate the bug immediately should not be a reason in itself to not raise it as a bug. If different people keep coming across this strange behaviour across a period of time, there should be some sort of record of it.
Here are a few guidelines around raising bugs around intermittent behaviour:
- State the behaviour you encountered appears to be intermittent.
This helps ensure the bug does not get immediately rejected when the person looking into it is unable to reject is straightaway.
- Make sure you choose your words wisely and spell correctly.
If others also experience this strange behaviour, you want to make it easy for them to find the bug you raised and add a comment. Make sure you use words that people are likely to use when they search for this bug. Also, note that Testing Tools may not correct your spelling – which means if a keyword is spelt incorrectly, it may be very difficult to find.
Nicola Owen is a Test Analyst from Auckland, New Zealand and has experience in the Trade, Education and Payments industries. She enjoys learning about the craft from her fellow testers. Nicola is a co-founder of the WeTest Auckland monthly workshops where testers gather to learn and discuss different aspects of testing. She blogs about testing at nickytests.blogspot.com and tweets at @NicolaO55.