Sunday, June 10, 2018

I don't report bugs

I don't report bugs. Bug is such a loaded word that people understand very differently, that instead of using it and explaining what I mean by it I rather just use other words. Like observations, thoughts, surprises, ideas, alternatives, or something similar. (And no I don't use fault, defect, or error either).

Bug has also quite a negative connotation. "Reporting a bug" is kind of like telling someone that they've been served. And as we are actually giving away the gift of information, why wrap it in such a nasty package?

And maybe more importantly it is very likely that whatever you might have to say is wrong. If not plain wrong, then at least incomplete. So I like to approach the kind of situations with the assumption that I am probably wrong. Cutting off anything that might sound arrogant makes stuff quite a lot easier. Especially after you realise later on that you have been wrong.

I leave plenty of observations unreported. I don't want to waste my or my colleagues time on stuff I believe will not create any actions. If I see no risk, I see no/little value, I just drop it. Someone might think this is irresponsible, I consider it professional.

I don't write reports. Writing a great report takes a lot of time, and it still very easily might get understood differently. So I always rather go talk to someone, or ask someone to come and take a look. Demoing a behaviour to someone is faster, enables better understanding, and also with other people you usually can find the possible root causes faster.

Still, Sometimes due to different reasons I still may write something. If I do I:
1. Keep it short. People will lose focus or not even read long texts
2. Tell what the observation is. So what happened, and why I think it was interesting. E.g. this happened, although I would've expected that.
3. Tell why. Why I think it is interesting. But briefly.
4. Give a bit details. ID, log snippet, link. Just enough to understand how the observation could be seen.

But will not write this into a backlog or defect tracking system. It's such a sad thing to see those beautiful bug reports getting buried into defect tracking systems or backlogs, forever to be forgotten. So rather into a chat, where someone might even comment on it.

If I can wrap all this into a failing automated test, I might. But then I often feel like I am spending a bit too long time on my own, missing the communication. Plus if I'd go this far why not just go and fix the problem myself or by pairing up with someone.

Can you imagine, I used to lecture about bug reporting, I used ti arrange competitions on who has the best bug reports. And now I won't even write them anymore.

And I love it.

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