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Bug Advocacy: Effective Bug Investigation and Reporting
Bug reports are not just neutral technical reports. They are
persuasive documents. The key goal of the bug report author is to
provide high-quality information, well written, to help stakeholders
make wise decisions about which bugs to fix. Key aspects of the
content of this course include:
- Defining key concepts (such as software error, quality, and the
bug processing workflow)
- The scope of bug reporting (what to report as bugs, and what
information to include)
- Bug reporting as persuasive writing
- Bug investigation to discover harsher failures and simpler
- Excuses and reasons for not fixing bugs
- Making bugs reproducible
- Lessons from the psychology of decision-making: bug-handling as a
multiple-decision process dominated by heuristics and biases
- Style and structure of well-written bug reports
More info on the Learning Objectives for Bug Advocacy: Effective Bug Investigation and Reporting are available on the BBST.info website.
Lecture slides (PDF)
Lecture 1: Basic Concepts
Explore the diversity of opinions about "quality" and "bugs." The lecture presents the multi-dimensional view of quality used throughout the BBST courses.
Lecture 1 (35 mins) (WMV)
Lecture 2: Effective Advocacy: Making People Want to Fix the Bug
How to develop reports that clearly communicate bugs in their harshest honest light so that decision-makers can operate with insight into the consequences of each bug.
Lecture 2 (27 mins) (WMV)
Lecture 3: Anticipating and Dealing with Objections: Irreproducible Bugs
Strategies for exploring non-reproducible bugs to make them reproducible or at least to provide information to help troubleshooting efforts.
Lecture 3 (17 mins) (WMV)
Lecture 4: Anticipating and Dealing with Objections: The Content, Clarity, and Credibility of the Report
How testers can make their reports useful and more credible for better decision-making by others working in the development effort.
Lecture 4 (12 mins) (WMV)
Lecture 5: Credibility and Influence
In addition to the quality of bug reports, a tester's actions can influence how much credibility and influence they have on a project. This lecture draws on research on bias and signal detection theory to explore some of the things that enhance or diminish a tester's credibility.
Lecture 5 (21 mins) (WMV)
Lecture 6: Writing Clear Bug Reports
The final lecture introduces the RIMGEA acronym to guide testers in writing better bug reports.
Lecture 6 (29 mins) (WMV)
Signal Detection Lab (PDF)
Bug Evaluation Assignment (PDF)
Sign up for the Open Office project and register in the test team (PDF)
January 2010 version of the BBST-Bug Advocacy course study guide (PDF)