Before we strive to write a good bug report let’s think of why we write a bug report in the first place! The whole point of writing a bug report is to get the bug fixed so that the software becomes a better version of itself. So before you sit to write a bug report you need to do it in a manner where the developers will be clear about what’s wrong with the software and will be able to rectify it else your moral as well as reputation can be harmed.
Writing a bug report is a piece of cake, however, writing an effective bug report may not be as easy. In order to make your bug report effective you may consider following the below mentioned pointers.
- Having Clearly Specified Bug Number: It is very important that you number all your bug reports uniquely and in a chronological manner so that the bug can be easily identified and located. If you are utilizing any automatic bug reporting tool then the number will be generated automatically. Always keep a brief account of the bug report along with the unique identification number.
- Reproducible: The developers can’t rectify the bug if they can’t reproduce it. This is why it is very important that you mention clearly the steps to reproduce the bugs. This will allow the developers to follow the given steps and reproduce the bug so that they can verify the nature of the bugs and rectify it with ease.
- Be Specific: There is no point in writing an elaborate report of the bug. No one has the time to read it. When you are writing a bug report always be specific about the bug and write a report which is short, to the point and specific about the problems created by the bug you are reporting. Make sure to reproduce the bug multiple times, read the report before submission and avoid using abusive language.
There are some simple templates which you can follow in order to write a perfect and effective bug report.
- Reporter: This will have your details so the developer can contact you if necessary.
- Product: The product in which you found the bug.
- Version: Which version of the product was tested.
- Component: Various modules of the products.
- Platform: The platform in which the bug was detected.
- Operating System: The operating system in which the bug was detected.
- Priority: How quickly the bug should be attended to on a scale of P1 to P5.
- Severity: Here you will be discussing about the impact of the bug based on the following points.
- Status: mention whether the bug is a new one or an existing one which has popped up again.
- Assigned to: If you have any information about which developer is going to fix the bug, mention it in your report.
- URL: It is best if you can mention the URL of the page in which the bug was detected for ease of the developer to detect it and pin point it.
- Summary: A short yet to the point summary of the bug report always helps the developer to get a quick glance of the whole report and hence to identify how to rectify it.
- Description: Describe the bug which you are reporting.
These are some of the tips and tricks to prepare a good bug report which will be effective for developers.