Fixing bugs in your code and software development overall is a challenging process that requires finding and identifying the “bug” before you can solve it.
Building software is such a complicated issue that bugs, errors, and faults inevitably arise unexpectedly.
A software bug is as unpleasant for software developers, clients, and Product Owners as much as other harmful bugs are unwelcome in your house or body.
Bugs are neither expected by the stakeholders nor intended by the developers. The development team works hard to remove bugs in software as soon as possible, ideally before the product ends up in the user’s hands. A lot of testing, and software quality assurance (SQA) is done throughout the development process to come up with clean apps.
If you are interested in finding and fixing the bugs in your code the right way, here are the key best practices for doing it.
What is a Software Bug?
In the simplest possible words, a software bug is a programming error, also called an error in the code or any unexpected behavior from the user’s perspective that won’t allow the user to complete a function without a failure.
Software developers are experts in their job, but they can still make mistakes that result in the unplanned result of software.
For example, if an app has many bugs and errors, it will misbehave in unwanted and unforeseen ways. In the developer’s language, the app has “issues”.
An application that needs many bug fixes produces invalid output. Fixing bugs is not a result only of a source code error. Bugs in software can arise from mistakes made in interpreting users’ requirements, planning a program’s design, and from interacting with humans, hardware, and software.
A comprehensive bug-fixing process includes reducing and resolving bugs that were caused during the requirements phase, software design, development, and operability.
Bugs in Software Testing: Definition
A bug in software testing is an identified issue in a system that causes components of the system to fail in delivering the required performance.
A bug in software testing usually shows up as a system failure during one of the stages in the software testing lifecycle.
The software testing lifecycle is a repeated process to ensure quality standards are met. It is performed systematically multiple times until the product is considered viable for release.
Types of Software Bugs (with Examples)
Since software development undergoes multiple interactions where things can go wrong, it is understandable that fixing bugs in your code is only one step to producing flawless apps users love using and find no faults with it.
These are the most common types of software bugs that could result in unhappy users, dissatisfied clients, and stressed developers:
- Incomplete requirements
- Usability (unfriendly UI)
- Architecture that is not flexible or robust enough for software with ongoing development
Let’s look into each type in more detail.
Even developers get confused about what constitutes a bug in software requirements.
Can you call the change request a bug?
For example, a mismatch in expectations between the client and the development team can be classified as a bug.
Conflicting, insufficient, unclear, or incorrectly stated requirements produce bugs.
It helps to understand what comes under “requirements” to be able to avoid, fix, and resolve bugs before they cost more.
- Functional requirements define what a product does, its features, and its functions.
- Nonfunctional requirements (also called quality attributes) describe general system properties.
- Domain requirements describe the specifics of a particular industry. For example, domain requirements may indicate special conditions that must be met for e-commerce, hospitality, or medical software.
The document which specifies such requirements is called a Software Requirements Specification (SRS) or a Product Requirements Document.
- SRS is a technical document that describes what the software will do and how it will be expected to perform.
- PRD is a business document that describes the functionality a software product needs to fulfill for the client/users.
SRS and PRD are not exclusively separate specifications. They overlap. But using different language adapted to the understanding of the dev team vs. the understanding of the client can cause errors that require a lot of bug fixing on part of the development team.
Usability requirements indicate whether a software product is user-friendly, and meets the needs and expectations of the target audience.
Usability refers to the user interface (UI). When there are bugs in usability requirements, users won’t find that product easy and pleasant to interact with. Such an interface won’t be convenient and time-saving. Quite the contrary, the average user will find it complex and disengaging.
Usability features are subjective and depend on the specific market. Therefore, to resolve software bugs, market analysis, and competitor analysis need to be done to ensure the maximum experience for product usability.
The software architecture of a system represents the principles by which software components interact in the environment and the result that they produce based on the design decisions made to create a certain behavior. It is the glue that holds everything together and benefits stakeholders to learn how the system will perform to meet essential qualities such as modifiability, availability, and security during all development and design stages.
A solid software architecture saves time and costs and prevents mistakes from occurring. Early risk identification is an essential component of developing the architecture. As such, it will result in fewer bugs in the code.
The agile development process has the advantage of including stakeholders early in the design and development process to build architectural elements that best fit business goals. When done correctly, agile systems promote product quality, cause fewer problems down the line, downsize testing, and are a cost-effective solution to continuously evolving apps with minimum bugs and failures.
Improve Software Quality with a QA Team
In a perfect world, bugs are identified by a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer or QA Analyst with a software quality management tool. The QA Analyst designs a testing process that can be improved and later applied by QA Testers, Product Managers, Software Testers, and UX/UI Designers.
However, errors slip through the cracks and will eventually be identified by users. As no one wants dissatisfied users who end up regretting their purchase and leaving bad reviews, a stronghold of the QA and QC (Quality Control) process is an investment that pays off without having to fix bugs in code after the users regret the purchase.
9 Steps to Fixing Bugs in Your Code
- Have a bug-tracking system. Unless you track bugs, they cannot be resolved.
- Increase product development visibility. Involve clients early and often to guarantee product satisfaction.
- Audit the bug status and progress stage. Keep a record of all changes to maintain the bug trail.
- Release planning. Manage bugs that need to be fixed in future product releases.
- Develop a resource-managing template. Monitor task ownership for every responsible member of the QA Team.
- Prioritize. Resolve burning issues before minor software mistakes.
- Create an early detection culture.
- Collect all detected bugs in a shared space. This promotes transparency and encourages faster bug fixing.
- Communicate changes in bug status to team members. Ensure your team is aware of status changes to increase awareness and responsiveness.
You have too many bugs to fix if more than 20% of your tickets result from bugs.
Knowing the exact root cause of “too many bugs” accounts for at least 50% of the solution.
Do you want to increase the quality and productivity of your development team and reduce failures, bugs, stress, and too high a workload?
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