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This article addresses one of the most important aspects of a tester’s profession – Bug Reporting.

In the article on Bug Advocacy (Cem Kaner and James Bach), the authors say a very important thing. The best tester isn’t the one who finds the most bugs or who embarrasses the most programmers. The best tester is the one who gets the most bugs fixed. They further enhance the idea and say – A bug report is successful if it enables an informed business decision. Sometimes, the best decision is to not fix the bug. The excellent bug report raises the issue and provides sufficient data for a good decision

The article further points to a very important aspect. It says that if you have found a bug, it’s your bug and it becomes your moral responsibility to sell the bug. Sell it to get it fixed by motivating the buyer and overcoming the objections

Now, that’s the most interesting thought that I have ever read about a tester’s relationship with a bug. I fully support this idea. If a tester prepares a bug report with the idea of selling it, there will be a certain improvement in the following


1. Tester’s investigation skills
2. Tester’s perception about a bug report – by understanding his ownership of the bug, a tester tends to find the possible cause of the bug, its relationship with other peer bugs, its history (in case a similar bug was reported earlier) and sometimes even if a similar bug was found in the bug worldi.e. for any other product from the same company or even from a different company
3. Overall quality of the bug report – When you own a thing, it looks always good to you and when you have to sell it, you will make it look even better to the buyer! With the intention of selling a bug, the overall quality of a bug report is certainly going to improve in terms of details provided
4. Overall skills of the Tester – With the good selling skills, tester has other career opportunities, when he gets bored of testing J ! Jokes apart, it helps the tester to develop skills in the most important skill area for a tester – communication.

So, we should jot down a complete life span of the bugs that we have found and track each one of them, till they are fixed or they inspire a good business decision. There is no point in embarrassing a programmer, but it means a lot when some one asks you “Whose bug is it anyway?” and you proudly say, “It’s my bug and I will get the things fixed!

Presentation on Bug Advocacy by Cem Kaner and James Bach can be found at the URL – http://www.testingeducation.org/k04/documents/bbst3_2005.pdf

Rahul Verma

www.testingperspective.com

One Response to “Whose Bug is it anyway?”

  1. Debasis - The Bug Hunter!

    Hi Rahul,

    Nice post indeed. As long as we don’t gather the courage to own a bug that we have found, I think as testers our job is half-done! Great summary of “Bug Advocacy” (Cem Kaner). I have watched this video several times and here is a post of mine that you might be interested to see. How to Sell a Bug!.

    Regards,
    Debasis.
    Software Testing Zone

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