Wednesday, 22 January 2014

How to Effectively Report Bugs?

How to Effectively Report Bugs?

All applications have bugs, either trivial or crucial. "To err" as the saying goes, is all too human – as long as codes are written by us, humans, there are bound to be errors in software applications. Therefore, it is rather essential that bug reports are clear and informative.

What if, you are trying to understand a technical document for a long time but the result is null. Frustrating, isn't it? Same is the case when a tester writes a lengthy bug report but a developer is getting nothing out of it. Expertise matched with perfect communication is the key to success.
A good tester maybe able to find showstopper bugs, but if she/he is not able to articulate it well, it becomes difficult for the developers to comprehend the information and fix errors. Hence, as a tester you need to understand the importance of effective communication while reporting a bug, most independent software testing company does keep this as priority.

The objective of bug report is to help reproduce the problem with minimal efforts and help the developer debug and fix the problem. A good bug report must contain precise information required to reproduce, analyse, debug and fix the problem. More often than not, assuming the bug to be quite obvious, a tester may take for granted that developers would be smart enough to understand it automatically and refrain from providing complete information. On the contrary, our testers are taught to provide each and every minute detail of the bug to make it simpler for the developer to understand and fix it in one single go, this makes software testing services more effective for any offshore or outsourced work.

The best time to report a bug is as soon as it is found in the application. This is the time when the tester is aware of every fact, so the possibility to overlook details in the report is minimal.

Check Requirements:

Before calling it a bug, ensure that it's not working as stated down in the baseline requirements.

Root Cause:

Once you have concluded that it's a bug, start to dig down to find the root cause for the same. There may be various paths leading to the root cause, but finding and fixing each and every path is not an intelligent procedure. Rather finding and fixing the core issue would resolve the bug on all the possible paths.

Search the Bug Tracking Tool for duplicity:

Before reporting a bug, make a close search in the bug tracking tool using intelligent keywords to check whether that bug already exists or not.


It should be simple, clear and precise. Is here that you should connect to the actual problem and grab the developer's attention.

Steps To Reproduce:

Before providing the steps / series of user actions, describe the state of application and prerequisites. The steps for user actions should be logical and non- redundant. A tester should also try to club a few steps into one if the total number of steps is high.

Environment Tested Upon:

It is important to cite the environment a particular application was tested on at the time you found the bug. It also helps finding the root cause of the issue.
a. Content manifesting: Details about what content the bug is reproducible on
b. Content Non–manifesting: Details about what content the bug is NOT reproducible on
c. Configuration manifesting: Details about what configuration the bug is reproducible on
d. Configuration Non – manifesting: Details about what configuration the bug is NOT reproducible on


While performing QA Testing activities, we generally come across some bugs which are not reproducible each & every time. Therefore, it is important to capture evidence around such issues when they happen, so that it would be easier to find the root cause. Provide the following as part of bug report:
  • Labelled screenshots
  • Screen recording of the issue
  • Any kind of log files
  • The struts
  • Video capture, if possible

Expected Behaviour & Actual Behaviour

It's very important to document the application behaviour after executing the steps to reproduce. By providing the expected behaviour of the system under test, it gives a clear comparison as to what deviation happened which has made it a ‘bug'.

Linking Bugs:

At times you come across similar bugs but they relate to different functionalities in the application; the best way is to log them as individual bugs and link them to each other.

Author: QAInfoTech
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