5 Effective Bug Tracking Tips

Ambarish P K
08 Feb 2021

Bug tracking isn’t an easy job- attention to detail and discipline are two things that are pivotal to keep your bug tracking and reporting on point. When you build a product, the initial versions will have one too many issues with it, they need to be checked for and reported to the developer so that they can take care of it. Getting bug reports isn’t something that developers look forward to, so you need to be careful when sending them, this is why communication and mutual respect is important. One should also note that following the best practices for bug tracking is helpful for all the stakeholders involved in the development of the application/product

Here are 5 effective bug tracking tips which will make the life of developers easy:

#1 Clear communication:

A bug tester should have the ability to identify relevant information which is supposed to be added to the report that they make. When the bug report is made, there is always room for misunderstandings to pile up. There will be confusion even if the report were made perfectly well. This is exactly why there should be a channel where developers and testers can communicate frequently and effectively. The developers should be given the opportunity to clarify if they have any questions. If there is a medium to communicate with each other easily, then the entire process will be fast.

#2 Be extremely comprehensive:

You’d have heard of the expression ‘leaving no stone unturned’? That’s the exact attitude you should have to conduct effective bug testing. It is important to be thorough and not miss a single point when bug testing. If there are any protocols that are usually followed, make it a point to follow it to the T. The comprehensiveness should be not only when you look for bugs, but also when you are preparing the bug report.

How to report a bug?

  1. Every bug that is going to go into the report should be validated again.
  2. Assign the correct title, description, problem, etc.
  3. Check if the bug has been reported already.
  4. Elucidate the problem clearly in the report. The bug needs to be reported with all the above information, otherwise, it won’t get properly fixed.

#3 Choose the right bug tracking tool:

While spreadsheets can save your life if you have a small team and the scope of the tool or application is small, you cannot afford to rely on it if you are looking for the long term. A tool like Disbug acts not only does debugging, but it also goes above and beyond that. Disbug improves your application and even integrates your fixing issues with the rest of your team’s work. Collaboration becomes a cake-walk because of the various integration options that Disbug provides. Please note that using a tool that doesn’t allow for 3rd-party integrations can be extremely restrictive. Use a lot of bug tracking tools before you choose the one for your business. If there is a free trial option, then use the product during the period to see if it is in alignment with what you were looking for in a bug tracking tool. The bug tracking tool that you choose should be able to take care of all your bug tracking and reporting needs.

#4 Be mindful of the bug status:

Closing a bug report is how you go to the next step in the software development process. In your organization, who closes the bug after it has been rectified? Assuming that the tester is the one who reported the bug, who is responsible to close the bug?

Usually, the bug is closed by the developer. Shouldn’t the bug report be closed by the tester who reported the bug in the first place? A method like this will work better because the tester knows the exact issue and would be able to gauge better if it was resolved or not.

Here is one more thing that is a pet peeve for most of us at Disbug. There are a lot of bug tracking tools which come up with clever names for bug statuses. We think that all of these, while fancy at best, only tend to increase the work and confusion without adding any value. Keep it simple. Open and Closed are two statuses that will make it easy for everyone.

#5 Keep bug reporting as objective as possible:

Do not start a bug report with a “I think…..” No one wants an opinion. Write the bug report as objectively as possible so that it is easy for the developer on the other side when they are trying to solve the issue. If you would like to add an opinion or pass a comment which you think will aid in solving the issue, then use it in the chat box. Your only objective when reporting the bug should be to provide concise information that will help the developer understand the issue.

While being objective, do not forget to be diplomatic in the words that are chosen to report the bug. Sound helpful and approachable when you write the bug report. Do not use complex jargons either, use bulleted points and simple sentences. Provide adequate references to the specific clause that a particular bug is affecting.

Conclusion:

Every bug results in increasing the go-to-market time of the application. But that doesn’t mean that you can afford to take shortcuts, which is exactly why you need to spend ample time on bug reporting. Choosing the right bug tracking tool would be the first step that will reflect on how your entire product comes about. We believe that using these 5 bug tracking tips will help with your efficacy.

If you are looking for a bug tracking tool that will act as a panacea for all your bug tracking problems, check out Disbug. We are more than happy to get on a call and explain how we can help you.