As we all know bug fixing can be quite frustrating. During testing periods we as developers deal with software failures all day long, which in itself does not make for the lightest of days. Furthermore, the quality of bug reports varies widely, and the information contained in a report is sometimes reduced to nil. As a developer, I get bug reports of many different forms and qualities. Once I even got a PDF with screenshots in it but no description whatsoever. Quite frustrating as I said. But hey, why should users or customers know what information I need?
So let’s dive a bit deeper into bug reporting. Based on my experience, I will focus on app and web development. Ain’t nobody got time for a whole essay here. So what’s the vital information that every bug report needs to come with?
Environment: What device are you using or testing on? If it’s a phone, what model is it? What browser are you using?
Attachment: Add a screenshot or preferably even a screen recording. If you are facing a bug in the user experience (happens quite often), a screenshot to reproduce the bug is golden.
Title: Say what went wrong using only a few words.
Bug Description: Keep it short and descriptive. What exactly went wrong and what should happen instead?
Let’s have an example:
The bug I received:
WTF-error: Icon is cut off
The bug report I would have needed:
Title: Icon is cut off
Bug Description: The icon in the alert when starting out with the app is cut off.
Environment: OnePlus 8
Now, how can bug reporting tools help us developers?
In our team we no longer process any projects without the integration of a bug reporting tool. Our experience has shown that hardly any bug report comes with all the information we need to fix the issue. Bug reporting tools, however, do the job for us and our customers or users. With the help of those tools all reports are automatically logged with all the useful information such as console logs, session data and screenshot. Development workflows without the help of a bug reporting tool has become unthinkable for us.