How to Prevent Software Bugs
What is software bugs?
A software bug is an error, flaw, failure or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways.
Zero bug development is a myth that should be dispensed with. In order to stay relevant, you need to keep things fresh. Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, and other companies constantly improve their software, as we can see in the What’s new section of app store listings. They make improvements to meet end users’ evolving expectations along with changing web and mobile technology.
What can be done to prevent this?
- Use Bug Tracking Tools : With the advancement in technology and testing tools, there are plenty of bug tracking tools. With bug tracking tools, testers can report bugs to the developers and track their status on a common repository. This reduces chances of future errors and helps resolve bugs as and when they are detected and reported by the testers.
- Automate Testing : Automated testing or test automation is a method in software testing that makes use of special software tools to control the execution of tests and then compares actual test results with predicted or expected results. Implementing test automation can help testers complete the testing process on time and meet the agile or continuous delivery cycles which otherwise is not possible via manual testing.
- Establish Controlled & Unbiased Test Environment : A controlled test environment will help testers ascertain what is deployed in the build and what changes are made in the software along with its implication which will help in its faster resolution. Also, an unbiased behavior of the testers during the testing process will help identify right bugs and errors in the software at the right time and further avoid an increase in errors in the software.
- Be Transparent & Open : Being transparent about defects and concerns in the software testing process will help testers uncover the real problems. Also, discussing problems openly with the team will give enough time to find the solution which probably will reduce the chances of errors. It may also happen that the product manager may postpone the release to avoid any further damage to the application.
- Test Under Different & Real Scenarios & Data : Whenever possible, it is advisable to use different scenarios and data while testing the application. This will help testers identify the behavior of the application under different combinations and conditions which will eventually help resolve problems specific to a particular data or logic. It will also help avoid future defects and pay attention to scenarios commonly used by the end-users.
- Use Standard Defect Tracking Processes : It is also advisable to use common and standardized defect tracking processes to avoid discrepancy in reporting bugs. If a bug reporting template or a process used by one tester is different from another tester, the developer might end up taking extra hours figuring out the data. Standardization in reporting bugs across the team will reduce the entire exercise of comprehending the scenarios and bug implication leaving more time for developers to focus on resolving them.
- Choose The Best Communication Channel : While reporting bugs, the mode and channel of communication matters a lot. A bug simply communicated via phone might get missed by the developer, on the contrary, a bug reported via email or chat might get more attention and place in the bug resolution spreadsheets of the developer or product owner.
- Check the Application & Backlog from time-to-time : Regardless of whether a company or a tester follows agile cycles or not, keeping a check on the application from time to time will help identify errors early in the process and resolve them as and when they are found. Also, keeping a track of the backlog and working on the issues at regular intervals will reduce the chances of errors being carried forward in the bugs with every release.
- Setup Priority & Severity : Defect priority defines how crucial and urgent it is to fix a specific bug or issue. Hence, every tester should clearly set-up and distinguish bug as per its severity in the application and define its priority accordingly to resolve. This will ensure no bug remains unresolved and affects the working of the application in the long run.