2.5 Steps to Perfect Bug Reports

Posted by jiGGaK on April 2nd, 2015

So you found a bug, that’s great! I want to hear from you. But first we need to have a talk. Yes, I know there are more than 140 characters below but please be patient and read all the words.

Why should you read all the words? It will make your developers so very happy. We are kind of like your car mechanic. You want to be friends with us, it’s in your interest. And we want to be friends too, it makes the whole experience better for everyone (bad bug reports make us suicidal homicidal).

The Steps

Step 0.5: Get the latest version from staging. Are you in a browser? Reload and/or clear cache. Does the software download something in order to function? Make sure it has the freshest copy.

Why step 0.5? Because doing this is half way to finishing step 1.

Step 1: Reproduce the bug. If you can’t reproduce, then I don’t really want to know about it right now. If you think you have valuable details to document (e.g. screen shots, error logs, data files) then post them in an unassigned bug report and indicate that you were unable to reproduce. If the bug is intermittent say so in the bug report.

Step 2: Document and report the bug. I need details: links you followed, data you entered, buttons you clicked/tapped. If you are able to determine that a specific input or action is crucial to causing the bug, even better.

Are you in a browser? Browser version (saying “latest version” here is OK) and platform version (e.g. Windows 8.1, Mac 10.10.2, Android 5.0.2, etc).

If you followed step 0.5 then good news! I don’t need to know the specific version of the software you were using. If for some reason you had a good reason not to follow step 0.5, then provide any relevant version numbers.