Developers understand that their work won’t be perfect on the first try. It may initially compile, but there will always be bugs. As a user or a tester it is important that your bug reports are clear, concise, and informative. A perfect bug report is able to effectively tell the developer where, what, and how, so they can address it in a timely manner.
Here are some key points to writing the perfect bug report
1. Descriptive Title
This is the first thing seen by the developer. You want this to put the entire problem into context. Something like “The calendar doesn’t respond to home page navigation.”
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2. Concise Description
You want them to know exactly what happens and be able to walk your soon-to-be best friend through the steps to re-create the problem. E.g. – “When clicking “calendar” on main menu of the “about” page, the calendar pops up. And when you navigate back to the “home page” with the top left icon, the calendar stays on the screen after you navigate, obstructing the view of the “home” page”. You want this to be under 140 characters to put the size and briefness into perspective.
3. What you expected to happen from the action
E.g. – “When I click on the home page icon while the calendar is up I expect the calendar to close as I navigate to the home page”
4. What actually happened
E.g. – “The calendar stays up even after the site navigates to the home page and it obstructs the page”
5. What version of the software and what system are you using
Maybe they could be working on a new version that fixed that bug or they didn’t write it to be completely compatible with your system. Checking the smaller details like these are essential for saving time thinking about what could be a small issue.
With those five points you will cover all of the important aspects of the perfect bug report. Follow these and your developer and you will be the Batman & Robin of debugging. Add DebugMe to the mix and you become a top of the line debugging factory! With DebugMe, EVERYTHING is in one place. There is a clean + user-friendly toolbar to give the tester the power to explain bugs in a very visual context. Pictures speak louder than words, so giving the tester the power to draw directly on webpages to better explain what they are experiencing is extremely helpful. The tools DebugMe provides on the tester side matched with a descriptive title and concise description explaining how you got there, would already pump out a great bug report. Add the tools DebugMe provides on the developer side including aiding with workflow management, a link to the page the bug was on, and even snippets of the code that ran when a bug happens, make DebugMe the ultimate platform for successful and efficient debugging.
Tips to keep in mind when submitting the perfect bug report
- Try reproducing the error before you send a report to make sure it isn’t intermittent. A random spur of events could have blocked the operation, and it could work just fine a million times over, after that.
- Ask Google. If you are using commercial or open-source software, often times someone has had the exact same problem as you and has looked for help online.
- Always read and send snapshots of error messages. They often tend to spell out the problem.
- Make sure you reproduce the problem very vividly in the Concise Description
There may be quite a few things to keep in mind for EVERY bug report you send, and without the proper bug reporting tools you can’t be expected to report them perfectly. If you find yourself testing or reporting bugs to a developer or development team WITHOUT using a bug reporting tool or platform then you best speak up because they make everybody’s life a lot easier. There are a bunch of them out there.
All of these programs include a reporting facility to enter the correct information about each bug. A good workflow for tracking progression through the bug. They assign bugs so when a bug pops up it lets the user/tester know if that bug has been assigned already or not. It keeps the history of work logs and comments. It reports in graphs or charts to give developers a good perspective on what is happening and how frequently. And last but not least, a database or storage of all of the bugs.
Now that you know how much goes into a quality bug report, you now understand that a quality platform that facilitates that entire process is essential.
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