How to do a Bug Report

How To Do A Bug Report

Going from the theory to the practice can be a challenge in any job, and at times it might be hard to truly understand what your responsibilities as a QA or SDET engineer are. So today we’ll be taking a look at one of the most important aspects of QA testing: how to write bug report. It might seem a bit overwhelming right now, but we assure you that once you grasp the structure you’ll be able to do it almost on autopilot.

What is a bug report?

If you are wondering what is bug report then the easiest way to describe it might be to say that it is a written record of something that went wrong. As a QA tester you’ll be expected to test the functioning of the software, and while ideally, it’d always work as intended: Sometimes it just won’t.

A bug report is a document that allows you to not only inform the developers of an existing issue but also to do so in a concise yet thorough way. Filling bug reports will be an essential part of your experience on the job: So you need to get used to it.

We’ll be going deeper into how a bug must be reported in a bit, but for now, there are 3 key pieces of information you need to gather anytime you run into a bug:

  • What does the bug cause?
  • What triggers the bug?
  • How can we prevent the bug from happening?

If you take into consideration the above every time you are testing software then we assure you that filling the report itself won’t be an issue at all.

Understanding the bug report template

A standard bug report template can be a bit scary to look at without context, but rest assured: it’s very easy to fill. You need to keep in mind that these templates exist precisely because they are easy for both developers and testers to understand, so each category is straightforward to grasp. It just comes down to reading a bit on the topic.

So without further ado, the standard elements you’ll see in most bug report templates will be the following:

  • ID
  • Description
  • Environment
  • Console Logs
  • Source
  • Visual Proof
  • Step
  • Results

The names might vary depending on your company or even your preferred formatting, however, those are the key elements that all templates will use in one form or another. Of course, just reading the names isn’t enough to understand what each of them means. So we’ll be going over every element one at a time to explain to you what should go in each spot.

  • ID: Bugs don’t have inherent names, so it’ll be up to you to name them in a way that makes it easy to remember yet evident what the bug is about. Usually, this means keeping it brief and using terms directly related to the actual behavior of the bug. So for example if the calendar date can’t be updated you can ID the bug as “Calendar – Update Disabled”.
  • Description: A brief name goes a long way to help efficiency in the workflow, but it not might be enough to illustrate in form what the bug is about. So add a clear but direct description of what the bug causes on the software.
  • Environment: The environment refers to the tools you used when encountering the bug. For example, certain websites might crash on Chrome but not on Firefox, or the opposite. So make sure to list the technical environment in which the bug was experienced.
  • Console Logs: Attaching the console logs of your testing will help the developers see the code malfunction faster, so it’s always a good idea to send them.
  • Visual Proof: Pictures convey so much more information than just words, so attach visual evidence of the bug so the developers have an easier time replicating it.
  • Steps: One of the most important aspects of the testing process is not only to discover bugs but to understand the required steps to replicate them. So always make sure to list the steps the devs need to follow to replicate the bug.

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FAQ

Are all bug reports the same?

No, because not all the bugs are the same, to begin with. The ideology behind a bug report won’t change, however, so that means if you learn how to write them well you won’t be stumped ever again.

What’s the best template for a bug report?

In practice, each company will have its own format to file bug reports. So you’ll need to adapt to what each job expects of you.

How long does it take to write a bug report?

Less than 10 minutes. Filing a bug report is honestly not hard work, it just requires you to be organized and have a good grasp of what information is important enough to share.

Is there dedicated bug report software?

Yes, certain software like Jira is designed to help testers to archive and report bugs. So a Jira bug report might be faster to file due to all those added benefits.

The bottom line

Bug reports can look overwhelming at first, but in practice, they are anything but. Bug reports are 100% designed to be easy to write and read, so they are a very efficient way to do work. Of course, to truly do a great job filing these reports you need to understand what developers want to read, so always make sure to keep on studying and reading new guides at our blog so you can remain at the forefront of the industry.

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