Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Software Quality Process, part 2 of 3: Triaging bugs, and bug flow

Think of bugs as atoms of actionable communication that flow around the group with their messages about product quality. They speak only of the product, the customer, engineering and design details.

Triage is about prioritizing the bugs and assigning them to people if as needed to ensure that the bugs keep flowing. Triage can be done on all bugs that haven’t been triaged yet, or all bugs assigned to certain people, or all new and active bugs that aren’t assigned to anybody.

A leader in the group or a meeting  with enough knowledge of the product, engineering issues around the product, end-users, any intermediate customers and other context to make edits if needed to the severity (how important is the issue?) and priority (which issues should be addressed first?). Bugs get assigned to developers for fixing, or program managers for design considerations, or back to testers for more information or as “won’t fix” or postponed as needed.

Test and dev need to work more closely when Test finds blocking bugs that prevent major scenarios from working, or regression bugs that block scenarios that were working before.

Test is always responsible for removing bugs from the flow by verifying and closing them. In some groups, testers are the only ones that can create bugs, but it’s generally OK for anybody to create bugs as long as they’re good bugs.

See part 1 for what makes a good bug:

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