Advanced Guide to Write An Effective Bug Report

Advanced Guide to write bug report

Bugs are an integral part of the development process. Along with the bugs you need to write a bug report. So in this blog post, we are sharing some effective tips and tricks to write bug reports.

Bugs are bound to happen when you’re developing an application, and no matter how hard you try to avoid them, you’ll still encounter some glitches in your code at some point or another. You may be tempted to fix the bugs or ignore it altogether, but ignoring bugs will only make the problems worse over time and cost you even more time and effort in the long run.

You’ve been tasked with writing an effective bug report by your project manager, but you aren’t sure how to do it. Don’t worry, as you can become an expert in no time! Just follow these simple steps, and you’ll be able to write a good bug report that any developer will love.

What is a Bug Report?

A bug report is a written record of bugs or defects in a software program that anyone can submit. A bug review, the meeting is a formal meeting where all the defects of the current sprint are discussed and prioritized.

End-to-End Testing on real iOS, Android Devices & Browsers

The process of doing so is called bug triage. How to write a Bug Report in software testing: It’s important for testers to write clear bug reports because it helps developers understand what went wrong with their code. Below are some tips for writing useful bug reports: 

  1. Be specific about what didn’t work as expected. 
  2. Explain why it failed (the reason behind it). 
  3. Include any steps that reproduce the issue (including screenshots or video recordings). 
  4. Try to give other information that might be useful, such as screen resolution, browser version etc.

Bug reports should be well-structured and thoroughly detailed so that developers know exactly what needs to be fixed and get it done as quickly as possible. It helps prevent the release of software from being delayed and allows for faster time-to-market without compromising quality.

Bug Reporting General Guidelines

Writing a good bug report requires you to be on top of your game and keep in mind what matters most to your company. Here are some general guidelines for writing useful bug reports:

  • Do not create duplicates: search before filing!
  • Always make sure to test the most recent available version.
  • One bug per report.
  • Provide helpful information, Not opinion or criticism.
  • Mark security/privacy vulnerabilities as non-public.

Elements of an Effective Bug Report

A bug report must be capable of answering these questions:

  • What’s the problem?
  • What can the developer do to reproduce the issue (to observe them)?
  • What part of the software (which website or feature) is the issue originating from?
  • What is the context (browser or device OS) in which the issue occurs? 

In the process of determining how to write the bug report, begin by asking yourself what a bug report is supposed to communicate to the developer.

  • A description of what went wrong (the problem) 
  • How to reproduce it (the steps) 
  • The expected result 
  • The actual result 
  • Blaming others for your mistakes.
  • Try not to use inappropriate language or tone.
  • Don’t try to include unnecessary information for fixing the problem.

How To Write A Good Bug Report?

Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks on how to write a good bug report. We have compiled several easy tips to help you learn how to write bug reports in Excel. A valid bug report must include the following elements:

  1. Title/Bug ID
  2. Background information
  3. Environment
  4. Steps to Reproduce a Bug
  5. Expected Result
  6. Visual proof
  7. Expected vs actual results
  8. Bug severity

1. Title/Bug ID

The title should be self-explanatory about the issue. For instance, “False Text in FAQ Section on the Career page.

2. Background Information

Background information on bugs can help developers to comprehend the problem. It provides the details of the issue that was encountered. Incorrect information can confuse and take up the time of testers and developers.

It is essential to speak clearly about the bug’s background details. It is always beneficial to use complete sentences.

3. Environment

A bug may manifest in specific environments and not in others. For instance, a bug occurs when you run the site on Firefox or an app is not working correctly on one of the iPhone model. The bugs can be detected using cross-browser testing or tests that cross devices.

When reporting a bug, QAs need to be able to specify whether the bug was found within one of the distinct settings.

Utilize the template below to get specificity:

  • Device Type: Hardware and the specific device model  
  • Os: Name of OS and version
  • Tester: Name of the person who discovered the issue.
  • The version of the software: The version of the program that is currently being tested and the bug has been discovered.  
  • Connectivity Strength: The bug is dependent on an internet connection (4G, 3G, WiFi connection, Ethernet) mention its strength in the testing time.
  • The rate of reproduction: The number of instances where the problem occurred, including the exact steps in each reproduction.

4. Steps to Reproduce a Bug

Make sure you list the steps in order from one to last so that developers can quickly and precisely go through them and see the issue for themselves. Here’s an example of how to reproduce a bug with steps.

  •  Click “Get started” on the homepage.  
  •  Select “Pricing Option”.
  •  Next steps.

5. Expected Result

The software developer must know what the requirements are so that they can determine the degree to which the bug has a negative impact on your user’s experience.

Give the best scenario for the end-user. Be sure to give as much detail as possible. Do not just say, “the app isn’t working properly, but it should.”

6. Visual Proof

Screenshots, videos, and log files are required to show the exact nature of the problem. Based on the nature of the issue, the developer might require video, text, and images.

Testing with TestGrid can leverage various options for debugging – screenshots, text logs and video logs console logs and even network logs whichever is suitable to the bug. These allow QAs and developers to identify precisely where the error occurred, then study the code and make corrections.

7. Expected vs Actual Results

Sometimes, what seems like a bug turns out to be expected behaviour. That’s why it’s good practice to include expected results in your bug report and what you would expect for those results. This way, other readers of your report can follow along and make sure everything lines up with how they expect it will.

By noting expected vs actual results, you’ll help your team get on the same page and focus on what needs fixing, rather than wasting time trying to figure out whether or not a result is as you thought it should be.

8. Bug Severity

Every bug needs to be categorized with an accompanying severity level, revealing the depth to which the bug affects the system and determining how fast it should be addressed.

The levels of Bug Severity:

  • Low: Bug will not cause any apparent breakdown of the system.
  • Minor: Results in unwelcome or unexpected behaviour, yet not so much as to interrupt the system’s function.
  • Major: Large parts of the system can be collapsed by the bug 
  • Critical: A bug can trigger a complete system shutdown

Levels of Bug Priority:

  • Low: The bug is low and could be fixed at a later time. Other bugs that are more serious have priority.
  • Medium: Bugs can be corrected within the normal development and testing course.
  • High: The bug should be fixed immediately as it negatively affects the system and makes it inoperable until the issue is fixed.

10 Tips For Writing A Bug Report

  1. Structure: test carefully
  2. Reproduce: test it again.
  3. Isolate: test it differently
  4. Generalize: test it elsewhere
  5. Compare: review results of similar tests
  6. Summarize: relate the test to customers
  7. Condense: trim unnecessary information
  8. Disambiguate: use clear words
  9. Neutralize: express problem impartially
  10. Review: be sure

A Couple of Examples for An Effective Bug Report Writing

Below is an example of a bug report writing

Test scenario for applications: 

Let’s assume in your application you want to create a new user and provide their information, and you will need to open the application and go to the menu for USERS > New User. Then, fill in all the information on the form of the user, such as the First and Last names, age, Addresses, Phones, etc. After you have entered all your information, you need to click on SAVE so you can save your user’s information. Upon saving the user, you will see a successful message, “New User has been created successfully”.

Now you log into your application by logging in and then navigating to the Users menu > New user, entering the required information, and hitting the Save button. Now the application crashed. You can view a page of errors on your screen. Now you’d like to file a report on this bug.

Here’s how we can report bugs for the above scenario:

Bug Name/Title: When creating a new user, clicking on save stops the application.

Bug ID: The BUG Tracking Tool will create it automatically once it is saved.

Area Path: USERS menu > New Users

Build Number: Version Number 5.0.1

Severity: LOW (High/Medium/Low)

Priority: LOW (High/Medium/Low)

Assigned to: Developer-A

Created By: Tester’s Name

Created On: Date of testing

Reason: Defect

Status: Open/New/Active

Environment: Windows 7/SQL Server 2005

Description:

The application crashes after clicking the SAVE button while creating an account for a new user. This renders the application inability to create a brand new user.

Steps To Reproduce:

  1. Login into the application
  2. Navigate to the Users Menu > New User
  3. Filled all the fields
  4. Clicked on the ‘Save’ button
  5. Seen an error page “ORA1090 Exception: Insert values Error….”
  6. See the attached logs for more information.
  7. And also, see the attached videos (if any)screenshot of the error page.

Expected: On clicking the SAVE button should be prompted with a success message “New User has been created successfully”.

Important Features of Writing A Bug Report

A great bug report should contain everything a programmer needs to recreate and solve your problem. Here are a few features that should be included in every good bug report:

Bug Number/ID

A bug number helps in bug tracking and makes reference to bugs much simpler. Developers can quickly determine whether a specific bug has been resolved or not. It makes the entire testing procedure, retesting and the like more efficient and smoother. 

Bug Title

The bug titles are more frequently read than any other portion in the report. They should be able to explain what is with the bug. The Bug Title should also be evocative enough to allow the reader to comprehend the meaning behind it. A clear title for a bug is easy to comprehend and lets the reader know whether the bug was identified earlier or corrected.

Priority

Based on the degree of severity and importance of the issue, the priority may be established for the bug based on its severity. Bugs can be classified as Blocker Critical Major or Minor Trivial, or a suggestion. The priority of bugs may be assigned from P1 through P5 to ensure that the most critical bugs are considered first.

Platform/Environment

Configuring the browser, OS and different environments, like SIT, UAT, PROD, and LO is essential for writing a bug report. It is the most effective method of describing how the issue can be replicated.

The application might behave differently in the absence of the same platform or the environment. At the end of the tester’s experience, the bug might not manifest on the developer’s part. Therefore, it is recommended to be specific about the setting in which the issue was found.

Description

Description of bugs helps developers to comprehend the issue. It describes the problem encountered. If the description is not clear, it can confuse and take up the time of testers and developers.

It is essential to convey the impact of the description. It is always beneficial to make use of complete sentences. It’s good to separate each problem instead of slicing them into pieces. Do not use words like “I believe” and “I consider myself to be convinced”.

Steps to Reproduce a Bug

A thorough Bug report should be clear about the steps needed to reproduce the bug. These steps should be accompanied by actions that could cause the issue. Do not make general statements. Make clear the steps to take.

An excellent instance of writing a properly-written process is shown below.

Steps:

  • Select the product Abc01.
  • Click Add to Cart.
  • Select Remove to order to delete the item out of the shopping cart.

Expected and Actual Result

A Bug description isn’t complete without the actual and expected results. It is essential to describe what the test result was and what the reader should anticipate. The test taker should be aware of the good results of the test. It is imperative to clearly state what took place during the test and then state the results.

Screenshot

An image can be worth the words. Make a screenshot or record the screen for a video of the failure using proper captioning to emphasize the issue. Highlight any unexpected error messages using the colour light red. It helps to draw attention to the needed area.

Read also: 5 Professional Ways to Deal With Missed Bugs Effectively

Conclusion

There is no substitute for someone who knows how to create a bug report when there’s a problem. When writing a bug report, your primary goal is to communicate information. Your goal is not to fix things; it’s not even to gather data. You can leave those roles up to others on your team, who are already equipped with tools like Excel spreadsheets and testing suites designed for that purpose. The purpose of a bug report is communication—communication from you about what went wrong, how it went wrong, how to resolve it, and how it can be stopped from going wrong again in future iterations of your product.

The most effective way to locate bugs is to run software through various real devices and browsers. Has the software been tested with both manual and automated testing? So that testers don’t miss any bugs, automated selenium testing should supplement manual tests. 

TestGrid provides all testing features that help you deliver your software without any bugs. It uses cutting-edge testing technologies like Appium. TestGrid supports manual, web service and API testing for web applications, mobile apps, websites and single-page applications like AngularJS. TestGrid also offers a visual automation framework using Selenium WebDriver or Appium as a cloud-based test automation tool that works across all browsers/devices.

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