Effective Bug Reporting
Bug reporting is an important aspect of software testing. An effective bug report communicates well with the development team and avoids confusion or miscommunication.
A good bug report should be clear and concise without any missing key points. Any lack of clarity leads to misunderstanding and slows down the development process as well. Defect writing and reporting is one of the most important but neglected areas in the testing life cycle.
Good writing is very important for filing a bug. The most important point that a tester should keep in mind is not to use a commanding tone in the report. This breaks the morale and creates an unhealthy work relationship. Use a suggestive tone.
Don’t assume that the developer has done a mistake and hence you can use harsh words. Before reporting, it is equally important to check if the same bug has been reported or not.
A duplicate bug is a burden in the testing cycle. Check the whole list of known bugs. At times, the developers might have known the issue and ignored for a future release. Tools like Bugzilla which automatically searches for duplicate bugs can also be used. However, it is best to manually search for any duplicate bug.
The import information that a bug report must communicate is “How?” and “Where?” The report should clearly answer how the test was performed and where the defect occurred exactly. The reader should easily reproduce the bug and find where the bug is.
Keep in mind that the objective of writing the bug report is to enable the developer to visualize the problem. He/She should clearly understand the defect from the bug report. Remember to give all the relevant information that the developer is seeking.
Also, bear in mind that a bug report would be preserved for future use and should be well written with the required information. Use meaningful sentences and simple words to describe your bugs. Don’t use confusing statements that wastes the time of the reviewer.
Report each bug as a separate issue. In case of multiple issues in a single bug report, you can’t close it unless all the issues are resolved.
Hence it is best to split the issues into separate bugs. This ensures that each bug can be handled separately. A well-written bug report helps a developer to reproduce the bug at their terminal. This helps them to diagnose the issue as well.
How to Report a Bug?
Use the following simple Bug report template:
This is a simple bug report format. It may vary depending upon the bug report tool that you are using. If you are writing a bug report manually then some fields need to be mentioned specifically like the Bug number, which should be assigned manually.
Reporter: Your name and email address.
Product: In which product you found this bug.
Version: The product version if any.
Component: These are the major sub-modules of the product.
Platform: Mention the hardware platform where you found this bug. The various platforms like ‘PC’, ‘MAC’, ‘HP’, ‘Sun’ etc.
Operating system: Mention all the operating systems where you found the bug. Operating systems like Windows, Linux, Unix, SunOS, Mac OS. Mention the different OS versions also like Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP etc, if applicable.
Priority: When should a bug be fixed? Priority is generally set from P1 to P5. P1 as “fix the bug with the highest priority” and P5 as ” Fix when time permits”.
This describes the impact of the bug.
Types of Severity:
- Blocker: No further testing work can be done.
- Critical: Application crash, Loss of data.
- Major: Major loss of function.
- Minor: Minor loss of function.
- Trivial: Some UI enhancements.
- Enhancement: Request for a new feature or some enhancement in the existing one.
When you are logging the bug into any bug tracking system then by default the bug status will be ‘New’.
Later on, the bug goes through various stages like Fixed, Verified, Reopen, Won’t Fix etc.