Bug Tracking: A Detailed Guide
Shreya Bose, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - August 28, 2020
What is Bug Tracking?
Bug tracking often referred to as defect tracking, is the process by which bugs and errors are logged and monitored during a software testing pipeline.
How does Bug Tracking work?
When a bug shows up, it basically means that the software does not function as intended. Tracking these bugs involves identifying them, monitoring, and reporting them so that they can be adequately resolved.
Bear in mind that a competent issue tracker must include the ability to extensively and accurately record information about errors. Some of the data to be recorded should comprise – the time of bug reporting, bug severity, details about its effect on the system, the person who reported it, and the person(s) responsible for fixing it.
There are multiple stages in a bug’s lifespan –
- Active: Bug is being investigated
- Test: The bug has been fixed and the debugged software is ready to be tested
- Verified: The bug has been re-tested and approved by QA engineer
- Closed: Bug has been resolved completely
Bugs must be managed according to priority and severity, These levels identify how much of an impact a bug has on a product. Generally speaking, severity levels can be categorized into the following:
- Low: Bug won’t result in any noticeable breakdown of the system
- Minor: Results in some unexpected or undesired behavior, but not enough to disrupt system function
- Major: Bug capable of collapsing large parts of the system
- Critical: Bug capable of triggering complete system shutdown
When choosing among the bug tracking tools in the market, look for one that monitors both the stage and severity level of each bug. Ideally, the bug tracking system should also be integrated with larger software development and management systems. This enables a more effective assessment of bug status and their impact on development, production, and timelines.
The Importance of Bug Tracking
On average, developers commit 100 to 150 errors for every thousand lines of code. Quoting the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ): “Even if only a small fraction — say 10 percent — of these errors are serious, then a relatively small application of 20,000 lines of code will have roughly 200 serious coding errors.”
Naturally, testing is essential to isolate and resolve these errors. A truly capable QA process usually unearths thousands of bugs, and testers have to manage every single one. Naturally, bug tracking needs to be integrated into the development workflow in order to improve product quality.
- Creates high-quality products
An issue tracking system facilitates the process by which bugs are detected and fixed. It helps eliminate issues by regulating the tasks of each tester and giving them clarity on what needs to be fixed.Issue tracking software performs an in-depth analysis of bugs in order to offer clarity on how debugging activities should progress. When used with precision, It enables testers to implement timely corrective measures. This obviously facilitates the production of high-quality software.
- Improved customer satisfaction
The right bug tracking software is essential for optimal levels of customer satisfaction. It helps testers function better, easily report and fix bugs. Testers can view and utilize all the information required to resolve issues, which enables faster development, verification, and releases of updated versions or even, feature fixes. Faster releases make happier customers.
- Lower cost of development
When using a bug tracking tool, bugs are resolved in order of their severity. High priority bugs are dealt with first, which determines the overall functionality of the product.Bug tracking software also acts as a knowledge base that testers can use for future reference. Developers and QAs can look at past instances of bug occurrence and apply those learnings to later projects. This naturally saves the time, effort, and money that goes into production.
Key Elements of Bug Tracking
- Capture: When a new bug is discovered, it needs to be documented in detail so that it can be fixed by the responsible developer. Use spreadsheets, email, or better yet, a debugging tool that can record bugs in the necessary detail. Text logs, video logs, and screenshots can contribute to clarifying the nature of a bug and enable easier debugging.
- Prioritize: All captured bugs must be prioritized and assigned a severity level to map how much it affects the system. This is important because teams cannot pick up every possible bug the minute it occurs – the most disruptive errors must be tackled first. A tool that helps to categorize on the basis of bug severity will help manage workflows in a way that improves software quality most rapidly and offers structure to testing tasks.
- Track: When new bugs are added to the repository, team members need to be made aware of their inclusion, status, and other relevant data. Efficiency is best implemented by keeping a team up to date in real-time. Worthwhile bug tracking software allows users to issue statuses, comment, create targeted notifications so that all issues are up to date and the right people are notified.
- Release: This step is self-explanatory. Once bugs are fixed and the feature has been tested to verify the fix, they need to be marked as such and closed. Again, this should be a feature offered by the bug tracking tool.
The Role of Real Devices in Bug Tracking
Needless to say, it is not possible to detect every possible bug without running tests on real devices. Additionally, one has to know how frequently a bug occurs and the extent of its impact on the software.
The best way to detect all bugs is to run software through real devices and browsers. When it comes to websites, ensure that it is under the purview of both manual testing and automation testing. Automated Selenium testing should supplement manual tests so that testers do not miss any bugs in the Quality Assurance process.
In the absence of an in-house device lab, the best option is to opt for a cloud-based testing service that provides real device browsers and operating systems. BrowserStack offers 2000+ real browsers and devices for manual and automated testing. Users can sign up, choose desired device-browser-OS combinations and start testing.
The same applies to apps. BrowserStack also offers real devices for mobile app testing and automated app testing. Simply upload the app to the required device-OS combination and check to see how it functions in the real world.
Additionally, BrowserStack offers a wide range of debugging tools that make it easy to share and resolve bugs.
BrowserStack’s debugging toolkit makes it possible to easily verify, debug and fix different aspects of software quality, from UI functionality and usability to performance and network consumption.
The range of debugging tools offered by BrowserStack’s mobile app and web testing products are as follows:
- Live: Pre-installed developer tools on all remote desktop browsers and Chrome developer tools on real mobile devices (exclusive on BrowserStack)
- Automate: Screenshots, Video Recording, Video-Log Sync, Text Logs, Network Logs, Selenium Logs, Console Logs
- App Live: Real-time Device Logs from Logcat or Console
- App Automate: Screenshots, Video Recording, Video-Log Sync, Text Logs, Network Logs, Appium Logs, Device Logs, App Profiling
With comprehensive debugging tools, QA teams are able to fully investigate potential bugs or issues in their website or mobile app, and identify the root cause faster than ever before. As a result, organizations can shorten test timelines while minimizing risks associated with releasing faulty code that may disrupt customer experience.