Bug Reporting Tips for Web Developers

10 Bug Reporting Tips for Web Developers

Being a web developer is a fun and rewarding job, but there’s always one thing that fills them with dread: bug reports. It doesn’t really matter whether there were any huge problems with bug reports, because it’s admittedly tedious work. It’s a reality that every web developer has to work with, unfortunately.  Still, that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome with some good old-fashioned tips. 

In this article, we will provide 10 essential tips for reporting bugs that will help ensure that your issues are understood and resolved as quickly as possible. From providing detailed information to communicating in layman’s terms, these tips will make bug reports a breeze to go through.

Bug Reproduction

While this sounds amusingly biological, it’s an essential part of bug reproduction. Make sure you can consistently reproduce the issue before reporting it. This will help developers understand and fix the problem more easily. It’s also a lot less paperwork to deal with if it turns out to be a non-issue.

Be Thorough

It always pays to be thorough when it comes to bug reports. When reporting a bug, include as much information as possible, such as the browser and version you were using, the exact steps you took to reproduce the bug, and any error messages that were displayed. These detailed steps could prove the means to a solution.

Tangible Evidence

Bug reports may be wordy, but it’s easier to communicate what’s wrong when it’s right in front of their eyes. Either take detailed screenshots of the bugs or better yet, have a screen recording ready of the bug being reproduced. This is especially handy if the website in question suddenly stopped bugging out for some reason. Evidence means people will believe a problem exists, not just the figment of a stressed developer’s mind. Nobody wants the phantom bug,

Double Check For Doubles

For teams, it’s entirely possible that a bug has already been reported. Before reporting a bug, check to see if it has already been reported or if there is a known solution in some documentation that was skimmed over. Once again, this saves a ton of time and paperwork. 

Be Clear and Concise

When writing down a bug report, go straight to the point. Add any necessary details, but don’t add fluff to the piece. Fluff could easily be misconstrued as a genuine part of the problem,  so that could end up wasting time. Be clear about what’s wrong with the website, and be concise in delivering that information. 

Find The Right People

Different bugs may require different channels for reporting.  Not every developer knows every single language after all (so far, at least). For example, if the bug is with a specific library or framework, it would be best to report it on the project’s GitHub page. It’s very likely that an expert will pop up and lend a helping hand. 

Be Patient

Fixing bugs can take time, so be judicious with any bug reports. If a bug is relatively new, there’s no need to report it more than once, for example.  It’s likely that it’s just in the pipeline and will be answered sooner or later. If there’s still no update, try and contact fellow developers directly. 

Follow-up

If a bug has not been fixed or you have additional information to provide, don’t hesitate to follow up with the developers. Getting a bug fixed ASAP is the key to meeting your goals for web design and development.  As mentioned above, direct communication is the best way to follow up on a potential issue.

The best direct lines would either be through phone or a communication channel like Slack. Emails aren’t very reliable as far as immediate responses go, because your message is only one among potentially hundreds of emails. For bugs that need a fix now, follow-ups are essential.

Be Ready With Additional Information

Developers may need more information to resolve a bug, so be willing to provide additional details if asked. Whether it’s front-end or back-end development, fellow developers will always have more questions to ask of you. Make sure to have notes on hand to easily answer these questions. 

Test If The Fix Actually Works

Once a fix has been implemented, test it to ensure that the bug has been resolved.  It is an important step in the software development process to ensure that the software or system is working as intended. More importantly, knowing if something’s a success or failure gives the devs time to make the right decisions. 

Conclusion

By following these tips, web developers can make the bug-reporting process more efficient and help ensure that bugs are fixed more quickly. Remember that clear and concise reporting of bugs makes it easier for developers to understand and fix the problem, so it’s always worth spending the extra time to provide detailed and accurate information.

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