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The Value of a good bug report

Thu 03 Jun 2010

I have recently come back from a well deserved holiday in South Africa. Now that I am back I thought that I would carry on working on the .NET Selenium 2 code. I am just about to port the Support project over but thought that I would check that ther weren't any blocking issues that people were experiencing with the .NET Code.

So over the last couple days I have been going though the issues that are on Google Code and have been suprised by the quality of the bug reports that people have been submitting. This is from people who spend most of their day writing bug reports or spend their days reading bug reports to fix issues.

The question that I kept asking myself is why do they think this is a good enough bug report? Maybe they have to pay their company per character they type when not on intranet sites? They think that Selenium Developers are psychic? The make certain assumptions like everyone in the world writes tests like them against applications that are exact clones to their application.

I am both a developer and a tester so have the unique perspective when looking at bug cases. When I raise a case I make sure that I think about the what is needed for someone, who may not know the system, to fix the issue. This, for me, is an extremely powerful way to raise cases. I always raise my cases with every exact step needed to solve the issues. And if the bug is UI related I will try add a screenshot just in case I may have forgotten something.

Marlena Compton says that Being a writer made her a better tester. I have to agree with that but I think being a developer has made me a better tester too. Being a writer has made me articulate the issue clearly. Being a developer has made me write down what is needed to fix this issue without causing the other person to go grey.

Next time you raise a case, think about how you have phrased it!

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