Bug Reports: The Key Element Of Your Software Testing Process
“The success of a crowd testing company hinges on its ability to develop a user-friendly platform, but most importantly, on its ability to deliver quality bug reports to its clients.” This is what Simon Papineau, CEO of Crowdsourced Testing, realized two years ago when he founded the company.
Bug reports are at the heart of the software testing process. Their main goal is to describe an issue in detail and in a way that it cannot be misunderstood. They ensure that no one can deny the importance of fixing the issue.
Consequently, if bug reports are badly written, confusing, or incomplete, it does not serve this purpose.
The best way to ensure the quality of a bug report is to focus on the pillar of the software testing process: testers. What do you expect from your testers? How would like them to report bugs? What should be included in a bug report to streamline the resolution process?
Once you’ve answered those questions, you are ready to provide your testers with the relevant tools to perform testing properly.
At Crowdsourced Testing, we have been thinking extensively about a way to improve our tester’s bug reports. We recently launched Damn Bugs, an independent bug tracking system that allows companies to manage their internal software testing and resolution process. Damn Bugs is the result of this ongoing reflection effort.
Following the success of Damn Bugs, we wanted to share a few of the elements that we included in our bug reports to enable testers to deliver quality results.
Testing is all about clarity and precision. Therefore, if you don’t set the framework for your tests, your testers will certainly report defects in various, inconsistent ways. There is a risk that important details may be forgotten in some reports.
To avoid such a disorder, we designed standardized bug reports. They invite testers to answer mandatory questions, such as the steps to reproduce bugs and remind them to add screenshots or videos. These are often the first thing developers look at when reviewing bug reports.
Standardized reports force best practices, helps understand bugs and investigates the issues to fix them rapidly.
Developers often have questions about bug reports. The interaction between testers, developers and project stakeholders is critical and should remain central in the bug tracking system.
To facilitate the communication between testers and team members, Damn Bugs includes email notifications and a dedicated space to exchange comments immediately below the bug description.
This conversation space gives testers the opportunity to improve their testing skills and help them better understand other team members’ expectations.
Project status charts
Damn Bugs also includes clear figures regarding the number of bugs reported, their status and severity.
They provide an overview of a project and help you determine whether or not your product can be launched within the expected timeframe.
When project status charts are combined with standardized bug reports, they help promote teamwork and collaboration. Developers can understand defects instantly, fix them, change their status and see how close they are to completion. Project Managers can get a better sense of how their project is doing and make the right decisions as to how to move forward.
Bug sorting system
Damn Bugs allows developers to sort out defects by type and level of severity, which also facilitates the resolution process.
It provides more flexibility to developers to give them the opportunity to rapidly identify critical, major or minor defects and decide which ones they should fix first.
Furthermore, it allows Project Managers to assign bugs to developers based on their type. Is it a technical defect, a UX issue or just a grammatical mistake? Functional and localization issues may be the result of a developer’s mistake. Alternatively, UX issues might need to be reviewed by the design team before they can be addressed by a developer.
As we continue to improve Damn Bugs, we’ll always consider the needs of our users to make the process efficient. What do you consider the most important features for your bug tracking application? Let us know in the comments below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laura Gaudino is currently Communications Manager at Crowdsourced Testing. Part of her work consists of managing the official blog of the company, conducting interviews and writing articles related to software testing. Laura is passionate about mobile technology and cloud computing. She strongly believes in the power of crowdsourcing to solve business problems.