The Bugs of Bug Reporting

In the tech industry, the word bug holds many connotations, but if it had to be explained in one word, it could be explained as : a flaw, a hindrance so to speak, causing a software program to fail or not run efficiently.
In the world of Software Testing, this very hindrance of a bug has the utmost importance, for every good testing team understands if not reported and eventually fixed correctly, a bug has the potential to create inconvenient repercussions for the entire software system.
Just detecting or reporting bugs is not the end of the story for a tester, in fact, the real work begins after it has been reported. There are many errors and bottlenecks that a tester faces after a bug has been reported or as it is reported. Here is a comprehensive piece of information on how reporting bugs is not as straightforward as it might seem.

What is a Bug Report?

In the software testing process, once a bug is detected, it has to be sent to developers to get fixed. Most QA pipelines generate multiple bugs seeing how complex the digital application space has become.
Furthermore, developers usually work on multiple projects at the same time, this means that there are often multiple bugs requiring fixing at any given moment. Developers work under strenuous hours and can overlook bugs without the right support.
Hence, it is the responsibility of QA teams to report bugs in such a way that can contribute positively in helping the developers to debug with accuracy and efficiency.

What Should a Bug Report Contain?

The essence of a bug report is to ultimately fix the said bug, so, the goal of any bug report is to:
  1. Detecting the location of the bug.
  2. Explain the issue to the developers.
Since a good bug report has to developer-friendly, the main agenda of a bug report is to:
  1. Explanation of why it is a bug.
  2. Environment specifications.
  3. Priority/Severity.
  4. Status of the Bug.

I Reported the Bug, What Next?

Now we come to the “bugs’’ of the bug reporting process, even during or after a bug is reported, many things need to be kept in mind to ensure proper tracking and ultimate fixing of the bug.
  1. Unsuitable Reporting
    Although filing a bug seems the easiest of the process, improper filing of a bug means the bug isn’t eventually communicated clearly to the developer team.

  2. Poor Bug Tracking
    If a proper issue tracking software isn’t implemented, the bug fixing process might not be well defined and the tester/developer might not be aware of the next course of action/deadline, ultimately leading to poor handling of defects.

  3. Wrongful Hierarchy of Priority or Severity
    In layman terms priority signifies how fast a bug should be fixed and severity defines the damage or impact a bug can have on the software. If the testing or developmental team doesn’t label or hierarch a bug correctly it can lead to delayed fixing of the bug.

  4. Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth
    If there isn’t a single point of contact present in the team which can go back and forth with the developers or stakeholders it causes lack of uniform communication and over all confusion.

  5. Emails or Phone Calls as Forms of Communication
    If a testing team uses texts, phone calls or emails as forms of bug tracking then it should terminate such a practice immediately. All communication should strictly happen through a bug tracking platform which helps the developers and testers stay on track to all previous changes and any future tasks that have to follow.

What are we at CloudQA doing for these issues?

Our testing team at CloudQA understands all these challenges caused in the process of reporting a bug. To make the journey more seamless for our team, the developers, and eventually the software development itself, CloudQA has its own brand new bug reporting tool, which mitigates the above mentioned issues with its user friendly interface. Some of the features it has and why they work are listed below:
  1. List your Issues Visually
    Your internal team can mark up bugs, ideas, provide feedback and notes, all directly on your site. It’s as trivial as drawing with a marker on your screen. This makes the back and forth with your team more communicative and faster.

  2. Unified Front for all your Concerns
    Now we know what a hassle it can be if a testing team communicates their bug reports through emails or other obsolete forms of communications. Whether it’s long email chains, calls or texts, all of these lack the right infrastructure for an efficient back and forth with the developer and testing teams. With the CloudQA issue tracker, you are basically creating a single medium to fix all your queries and problems.

  3. Efficiency and Speed
    The bug fixing journey can be long but can be made unnecessarily longer through solvable bottlenecks. With our bug reporting tool, the developers can reproduce bugs faster without having the inconvenience of asking the reporters to include any technical data.

Additional Points to Consider while Writing a Bug Report

  1. Be the Early Bird.
    As a tester, as soon as you come across a bug, it’s wise to report it in the issue tracker immediately rather than waiting to add it in the detailed report afterwards.

  2. Check for any Doubles
    While reporting bugs, there is a possibility that the same bug might already have been reported in some other module of a project, by cross checking, you prevent any copies.

  3. The Efficiency of Final Reviews
    Make a checklist and review the bug report one final time before submitting, among the list, check for title, summary and steps to reproduce in the bug report. The report can be proofread and corrected from any errors before it’s sent into the team’s inboxes.

Final Words on Bugs

The primary principle of software testing is to find bugs in the software application and make the performance of the software application better.

The efforts and approach a software tester makes during a bug reporting process has a significant impact on the quality of an organization.
Keeping the weightage of this in mind, a bug report document is the medium of communication between the tester, developer, manager and lead in an organization.
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