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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:

More info on the Learning Objectives for Bug Advocacy: Effective Bug Investigation and Reporting are available on the BBST.info website.


  • Lecture slides (PDF)
  • Videos

    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)
  • Assignments

  • Signal Detection Lab (PDF)
  • Bug Evaluation Assignment (PDF)
  • Sign up for the Open Office project and register in the test team (PDF)
  • Study Guide

  • January 2010 version of the BBST-Bug Advocacy course study guide (PDF)