Proper Bug Reporting

2 Contributors
Last updated 22 Nov 12:44

TL;DR

When testers find bugs, they report it. These reports are really important for developers. Read this article to find out how to write an effective bug report.

What Is a Bug Report

Bug reports are descriptions of bugs found by testers - they help to understand where the product lacks its functionality or performance. Bug reports are the most important tools for developers.

It is necessary to build an independent test environment before letting the customers use the actual product. The quality of tests and the bug reports have a huge impact on the quality of product development. The bug report should contain all the information needed to document, report, and fix problems that occurred during testing the product.

Bug Reporting
Source: GetApp: Bug Reporting

Why You Might Want the Bug Reporting

Bug reports exist to improve your product. It is worth the effort to learn how to write an efficient bug report.

A good bug reports:

  • contain all the information the developer needs to fix the problems
  • are an efficient form of communication between the person who reports the bug and the person who fixes it
  • should be resolved as soon as possible
  • enable cooperation between testers and developers
  • help to reduce the number of problems

Bug reporting can be automatized or semi-automatized. Some of the most popular bug tracking software tools are Airbrake, Sentry.io, Backlog, ReQtest, or Bugzilla.

Problems the Proper Bug Reporting Helps to Solve

How to Implement the Bug Reporting

To write an effective bug report, follow these 10 steps:

  1. Condense
    Be clear and brief. Ensure that every information in the bug report is relevant.
  2. Accurate
    Ensure that you are reporting a real bug. The problem can be a setup problem, user error or just a misunderstanding of a product. It is better to consult with a more experienced tester than reporting a mistake that is not a bug.
  3. Neutralize
    Do not use emotionally charged statements. The report has to be neutral, professional, and factual.
  4. Precise
    Try to be as explicit as possible. Summarize the problem at the beginning. The goal is to write a description that cannot be misunderstood.
  5. Isolate
    Isolate the problem. If possible, describe what inputs trigger the bug.
  6. Generalize
    Try to find out if the bug is more general than it seems. Sometimes the bug occurs at multiple locations - the bug needs a more general fix.
  7. Re-create
    If it is possible, describe how to re-create the bug. List all the steps, describe the environment.
  8. Impact
    If it is not obvious, describe the impact on the customer.
  9. Debug
    What does the developer need to be able to debug the problem? For example, are there any logs he needs?
  10. Evidence
    Provide documentation that can prove the existence of the bug.

Common Pitfalls of Proper Bug Reporting

  • Underestimated bug reporting
    For example, some websites do not offer any opportunity to report a bug. If you find a bug, you cannot submit feedback or contact the person who can fix it.
  • Untraceable bug
    The developer did not get enough information to fix the bug or cannot meet the mandatory conditions (for example, a regulator that can capture every client’s reaction).
  • The team does not react
    The developers get the bug reports, but do not fix the bugs efficiently.
  • Too much information
    If the bug report is too detailed, it can be difficult to understand. It also increases the time and energy of the people who have to read the report.
  • Too vague
    It is necessary to find a balance between being too vague and too detailed. It saves time when the person who has to fix the bug does not have to ask for more information.

Resources for the Bug Reporting