97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

(Chris Devlin) #1

(^76) 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

How to Use a

Bug Tracker

Matt Doar

WHETHER YOU CALL THEM efectsbugs, d , or even design side effects, there is
no getting away from them. Knowing how to submit a good bug report, as well
as what to look for in one, are key skills for keeping a project moving along

A good bug report needs to convey three things:

  • How to reproduce the bug, as precisely as possible, and how often this
    will make the bug appear

  • What should have happened, at least in your opinion

  • What actually happened, or at least as much information as you have

The amount and quality of information reported in a bug says as much about
the reporter as it does about the bug. Angry, terse bugs (“This function sucks!”)
tell the developers that you were having a bad time, but not much else. A bug
with plenty of context to make it easier to reproduce earns the respect of every-
one, even if it stops a release.

Bugs are like a conversation, with all the history right there in front of every-
one. Don’t blame others or deny the bug’s very existence. Instead, ask for more
information or consider what you could have missed.

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