Nov 9, 2023
6 min read
A detailed bug report can make a big difference while fixing defects in a software. It is like a doctor’s prescription for the chemist or a QA engineer’s bug report for the developer.
Table of Content
Bugs are inevitable in any software development project. There is just no escaping from it. The complexities in modern software development have further contributed to it. Ranging from minor issues like spelling errors to severe functional errors causing system crashes or even data breaches, there is just no end to it.
It does not matter how minor or severe a bug is; one thing is most affected by it: the user experience. Poor functioning, system crashes, or unexpected behaviors erode customer trust. The company's reputation is certainly damaged by it.
The bugs and issues have to be solved as soon as possible before they affect the end-users.
It all comes down to the QA engineers and developers to take charge and make sure of it.
Problem solved. Isn’t it?
Well, it’s not as simple as it sounds.
The process of bug reporting and resolution is kind of cumbersome and tedious. At least with the traditional methods or workflows to find and fix bugs. 🥱
Bug reporting processes can be long. If not done properly, it can be frustrating for the QA and the developers. Yes, you heard it right. It’s a real pain to resolve issues with improper reports. 😓
Imagine going to a chemist's shop without a proper report or prescription from the doctor. Would that solve your health issue properly by just explaining your problem to the chemist for getting medicines? In some cases, it might, but majorly, it won’t.
Sounds familiar? 😕
It’s always good to have clarity with the issues at hand. A detailed report would certainly help. Whether it's from a doctor’s prescription for the chemist or a QA engineer’s bug report for the developer.
All we want is better and more efficient solutions. Whether it’s your body or your software. 😎
We’ll try to paint a complete picture of the impact of poor bug reporting and some handy ways for better bug reporting.
In this post, we’ll cover:
Let’s get started.
The title of the post says, “The Hidden Costs of Poor Bug Reporting”. Honestly, it’s not that hidden. It’s actually very obvious. The problem is that software teams are so used to the traditional processes of bug reporting that it has almost become truly hidden.
It’s subconsciously established that bug resolution is a very long and tedious process. There is just no way around it. We have the tools and methods in place. And the frustration and headaches that it carries are just inevitable.
We’ll try to break the ice with this topic further down the post. But first, let’s try to look at the “actual cost” of poor bug reporting with some supporting facts around it.
Time is important. For everyone. Imagine putting so much effort into something but minimal or delayed results. We can all understand the point well. Bug reporting is a very practical example of it. Poor bug reports can lead to frequent and unnecessary communication between QA engineers and developers. Resources for development and testing lifecycles can be expensive.
IBM System Science Institute Research Report mentions that the issues detected during the testing phases cost 15 times more than if they were reported and resolved during the design phases itself.
It would be much better to fix the issues from the start. Poor bug-reporting processes with an established mindset of being tedious lead to high costs in later stages. If the bug reporting process was efficient, it would mean fewer headaches, better resource utilization, and saved time.
Your customers are the backbone of your product. A poor bug report about that one bug in your so-called polished software can drive your customers away. We can all agree that it’s very tough for companies to acquire customers. Retaining them is whole another ball game.
A report by PWC says that 32% of all customers are highly likely to stop using the product or brand that they love if they experience a single issue with the product. The numbers in Latin America are even higher with 49% of customers saying that they will stop using the product as soon as they encounter a single issue.
Now imagine modern-day software. It’s very common to miss that one bug due to a poor bug report letting it bypass the developers. And this could lead to 1 out of 3 customers abandoning the product that they love. Wouldn’t that be a train wreck?
Revenues and reputations are hard to build. Poor bug-reporting processes can ultimately reflect on a company’s reputation and finances. The software product’s reliability suffers head-on due to such issues.
Tricentis Software Fail Watch reported a revenue loss of $1700 Billion due to software failures in the year 2017. This affected 3.6 Billion people (that’s almost 50% of the global population) and 300+ companies.
The sheer magnitude of the effects of software failures is mind-boggling. The message from the above facts is very clear. Bugs must be fixed promptly. And this is only possible if we can somehow make the bug-reporting process easier for faster debugging.
Yes, that is right. A detailed bug report is the fastest way to efficient resolutions. So what aspects should a bug report cover? How do detailed reports help to catch the devil 🐞 in complex software and what should be included in the report?
Let’s find out:
There is no better way to explain something than attaching a picture or a video in a report. This is a no-brainer technique to provide clear evidence with a clear context of the issue. This lets the developers see the issue with utmost clarity.
The reports should present a clear picture of the issue with accurate words and relevant keywords. This helps the developers to understand it in a better way. Adding comments to the report without being too wordy and vague can further improve the speed of issue resolution.
The issue has to be replicated or reproduced by the developer. QA engineers should provide the information so that the resolution can be done without any confusion.
The report should also contain the exact information about the operating system, system logs, version, etc. to make sure that the issue can be reproduced in the same or similar environments.
Issues may be of different severity or priority levels. Mentioning this in the reports can help the developers allocate resources or adjust the scope of the tasks at hand. To be more clear, severity levels pertain to the functionality or usability of software whereas priority level aims to take care of the business and user end of a software.
The reports must also be easily sharable. This enhances the collaboration and helps to cut down steps to inform the issue. Project management tools like Jira, Asana, GitHub, ClickUp, and more are specifically made for this purpose. The reporting flows should be easy to push to the concerned tools to save even more time and hassles.
Bug reports are meant to solve issues. It's a blueprint of the problems. Let’s see some of the ways in which detailed bug reports can be of value while resolving issues.
Better reports mean faster solutions. It not only saves your time and resources but also helps to release updated versions of software or products efficiently. It’s especially very beneficial to agile workflows in SDLC with improved software quality and faster delivery speeds.
It can help to develop a common language of understanding among team members and cross-functional teams. We all know the importance of happier work environments. This may not seem like an obvious benefit, but it does contribute unequivocally.
Detailed bug reports can contribute to fewer emails regarding issues. It’s an actual problem that has existed for a long in the software industry. If you have a detailed bug report with all the relevant information, it reduces the chain of emails for specific issues and also reduces noise and clutter in project management and tracking software.
Now that we have all the details in a single report, it’s way easier to pinpoint the context of the problem. It helps in better understanding and helps avoid repeated conversations and endless meetings about the issue.
Effective bug reporting can help improve the workflows with better and quicker follow-ups. The feedback loop is also better with it. Since we have all the information available in one place, it helps keep everyone in the loop with regular feedback or inputs regarding the issue.
Bug reporting can be a pain and frustrating. BetterBugs is made to fill these gaps in a simple yet powerful way. It aims to make bug reporting easier and 10X faster.
It lets you capture screenshots and share detailed bug reports with ease and real-time commenting capabilities. It can be easily integrated with your favorite project management tools like Jira, Asana, GitHub, and more.
It can be used by all software teams and can especially help QA engineers and developers speed up their workflows.
You can download BetterBugs as a Chrome extension for free.
We sincerely hope that it helps you report and debug better. Please don’t forget to share your thoughts on it to help improve. Your feedback is valuable to us.
Thanks for taking the time to be here.
We will keep sharing such posts for you to keep updated.