The bug reports prepared by testers help managers to take a number of crucial decisions. So the managers need clear, detailed and informative bug reports. But often the reports prepared by beginners do not provide adequate information about the defects or flaws in the software application to the programmers and managers. Sometimes the inadequate and ambiguous information even affects the outcome of the software testing project. That is why, it is important for both experienced testers and beginners to keep in mind some simple points to conduct bug reporting effectively.
Simple Ways to Prepare Better Bug Reports
Describe Each Step in the Process
The beginners must break down the process of identifying a defect. In addition to mentioning the series of steps taken till the bug is identified, they also need to mention both expected and actual results. When each step in the experience is described, it will be easier for the programmers to fix the bugs based on specific details. Likewise, the expected and actual results will help testers to check if the bug is fixed successfully.
Don’t Analyze the Bugs
Often testers have to analyze and prioritize bugs according to their severity and impact on the application’s functionality. But they need not prioritize bugs while preparing the bug report. The primary objective of the report is to bring all bugs into the system. So the report must convey detailed and specific information about each bug identified during the testing process. The testers must include all bugs in the report regardless of their significance, frequency of occurrence, and severity.
Provide Specific Information
The testers can easily reduce the defect turnaround time by providing specific information about each bug in the report. For instance, while reporting a defect found in a web application, they must clearly describe the page URL, user account details and login credentials. Likewise, they can provide more specific information about the bugs by providing screenshots. The screenshot will complement the description of the bug included in the report, and help programmers to understand the issue clearly.
Reproduce the Bugs
The professionals can further conduct bug reporting effectively by reproducing the bugs. However, the performance and functionality of an application can be impacted by a number of factors during the testing process. So they need to identify and reproduce only those bugs that are persistent and occur frequently. While reproducing a bug, the testers can easily identify the exact steps in the experience, and supplement the details by providing screenshots.
Focus Exclusively on Facts
Often beginners tend to speculate about the source and effect of a defect. The speculative information makes it difficult for programmers to understand and fix the bugs quickly. So the testers must focus only on facts while preparing the bug report. They must report facts about the bug objectively, and avoid trying to speculate about nature and source of the problem.
Make Subjects Descriptive
Often programmers identify and track each issue based on its subject. So the testers must write the subject in a clear and descriptive way. The subject must convey information about the issues in a simple and unambiguous way. When the subject is accurate and descriptive, it becomes easier for programmers to identify and understand the source of the problem. Thus, descriptive subjects used in the bug reports can reduce defect turnaround time drastically.
Assign a Number to Each Bug Report
Normally, testers have to prepare several bug reports while testing a single software application. So they need to differentiate the reports from each other. When the testers assign a unique number to each bug report, it becomes easier for them to track individual reports efficiently. Further, they can easily update the status of each report once the defects are fixed. Some testing tools even allow users to add unique ids to various bug reports simply by changing the configuration.
On the whole, the testers need to prepare informative bug reports to reduce the defect turnaround time drastically. Instead of following a predefined template or format, the testers must focus on conveying detailed and clear information about the bugs identified during the testing process. They can even consider reproducing the bugs before preparing bug reports to make it easier for programmers to eliminate the defects in the software application.