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10 steps on how to report bugs

Posted by admin on October 1st, 2007 filed in Offtopic
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Lately after some bad experience, I tried to find a solution on how to report bugs better.

Whenever me or my team sent a simple email with some explanation about the issue, it took about 2 minutes until it backfired and the email sender got bombed with questions (per email or just in person).

Emails that were too detailed backfired as well. Not sure why, but I assume that a lot of developers don’t want to be treated like they are personal “slaves” (even if they are the slaves. It comes with the job :-) ).

Long story short: Here my ideas of coming up with some Bug reporting guidlines:

1. Name the bug. Be precise about the bug and give it a good synopsis.

This means a descriptive name “xy resulted in xyz”

2. Describe the bug and where it appeared (URL if possible).

Make it easy for the developer to re-produce the bug.

3. Add screenshots

Always important and a great help. When you make a screenshot, don’t forget to clear your tabs/Google search field!

4. Use software if your development team is ready for that.

There are a bunch of bug tracking software possibilities. You can use Basecamp,, BugAware, Netresultstracker…. At my place unfortunately not possible.

5. Assign bug to one developer (or CTO) or one engineering group

Depending on the size of your company, assign the issue to one developer or team. This way you have a person/group to chase down if something goes wrong or takes too long.

6. Prioritize issue and assign a severity

If you have more than one issue, prioritize the issues.

7. Archive bugs

It always makes sense to me to record and archive issues. From my experience I noticed that some issues come up again.

8. Add a date / Issue number to each problem

This should be self-explaining

9. Make sure you add your operation system and browser

This should be self-explaining as well.

10. Report only one bug at once.

More than one bug just confuses developers and won’t help getting it resolved.

Any other things, that I forgot?

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