The Art of Bug Reporting

Mikel
Mikel
Mar 7, 2019 · 3 min read

The vagueness of the “it doesn’t work” report means less than nothing — the issue could be literally anything — the website could be down, the signup screen could be broken, the app could unwittingly be taking naked selfies of the user and e-mailing it to all their friends — there’s just no way of being able to tell.

Like it or not, mistakes are an inevitable part of all software.

Many mistakes can take hours to be corrected and it is impossible to deduce what the problem is without a good report of the problem.

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Reporting Bugs — the Right Way

Bug Summary

Try to find the right words to describe the summary that would give the information directly. Generic statements like “not working properly”, “not working as expected” etc., must be avoided.

Where is the problem? If it’s a website, copy and paste the URL. If it’s not, give the name of the screen you are on.

What environment are you using the software in?

Describe the problem (obvious)

Expected result — Suggested fix

Screenshots!

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Spread love to developers

As easy as firing up the email and document the incident with love. Don’t just call up or send a one-liner message.

So now when you check out that shiny new software released and something breaks, you know how to get it fixed faster, more effectively and without frustrating anyone. You become a helpful part of a team, instead of a clueless outsider and hey, maybe you learned some things to make you a more software-savvy person in the process.

Sincerely, a developer.

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