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6 Tips on How to Write Effective Software Defect Reports

Developing new software applications is a challenging process riddled with difficulties, especially without proper bug tracking. No matter how experienced you are in writing code or software testing, writing software defect reports can save countless hours of your time. 

According to published data, more than 65% of companies outsource their software development, which makes tracking and addressing bugs more complicated. Similarly, statistical reports indicate 87% of companies are experiencing software development talent gaps. 

As projects get more complex and ambitious in scale, software developers have a hard time tracking software defects properly. This is exactly why writing effective reports on found bugs is essential to successful software development. 

Let’s check how you can make your software development projects smoother moving forward.

Source: codoid.com

Reasons to Write Software Defect Reports in the First Place

Before you jump into defect report writing, you should understand the role of tracking bugs in software development. 

Every software development project is inherently tied down by its resources, deadlines, and promised deliverables. Software companies work with numerous stakeholders such as investors, clients, and end-users thus they need to deliver top-quality software. 

Software defects have no place in the finished product if the defect report writing process is handled correctly. Failing to address critical software errors before the launch can have severe consequences on your company’s reputation. There are very good reasons to write such reports throughout your software development, including:

  • Faster and more streamlined development 
  • Mitigated number of defects in the launch product
  • Higher client and user satisfaction with the software
  • Easier tracking and indexing of bugs for later patching
  • Improved brand reputation and reliability for your business
  • Attract more lucrative software projects down the line

Writing an Effective Software Defect Report

Index Software Defects with Unique ID Numbers

Once you start testing the software app for bugs, you should also begin tracking each defect as it occurs. This will help you avoid indexing the same bug twice without noticing. Simply assign a unique ID number to the defect in your software defect reports as they happen and give it a simple title. 

ID numbers will help your developers track and fix defects afterward. Depending on the software defect management program you use, you can collaborate with multiple QA testers at once. ID numbers will also help you avoid overlaps between one another, so don’t approach software testing without this. 

Each software development project should have its unique ID numbers repository to avoid further overlap with other projects.

Source: itcloudqa.com

Describe Each Software Defect and Their Cause

It’s not enough to simply tag a bug with an ID number and call it a day. Your developers will want to know what exactly led to the defect to begin with. To do that, they will need information on how you came to produce the bug and what happened afterward. 

This is important because the same set of steps can cause different defects to occur after multiple use attempts. 

Write a detailed description of the bug and the steps to reproduce it to make your developers’ jobs easier. This will help if you’re working with multiple testers, as you will avoid tagging the same bugs multiple times causing clutter.

Source: teamgantt.com

Categorize your Software Defects Based on Priority and Severity

Not all software defects are equal in severity and you will have to use your best judgment to categorize them

Most software development teams create a robust list of bugs that they will address over several months. If the app needs to be launched before all bugs are ironed out, the most severe ones need to be addressed first. 

This is why QA testers need to know the difference between minor glitches and app-breaking defects. The latter is far more important to software developers during active development and the former can stay in the low-priority category. This system aims to allow the company to launch a software app that is as polished and functional as possible on day one. 

Beyond that, software development can continue for several months or years post-launch to fix any lingering issues.

Source: iqvis.com

Proofread and Format your Software Defect Reports 

An important factor to consider when writing software defect reports is that you can never be sure who will read them. The project manager or executive in charge of decision-making may not be tech-savvy and they might need help understanding your reports. 

If you’re an IT student interning with a software development company, you may want to ask for help from professional writers for your defect report. If you think “I’d like someone to help me with my thesis” while interning in a software company, think of it as a writing assignment. 

Work with a reliable writing service to make sure that your software defect reports are well-formatted and free of grammar, proofreading, or abbreviation errors. That way, anyone who picks up your report document will be able to read it and understand how to address the defect.

Source: ibtimes.co.uk

Outline the Action Supposed to Happen Instead of the Defect

Depending on the scale of the project you are testing, it may be a good idea to also outline the wanted result of your actions. 

What was supposed to happen in the software app based on the original software development plan?  In this instance, you can reach out to original developers to ask them about the action they intended to insert there.

Writing software defect reports to be as detailed as possible is always a good way to make everyone’s jobs easier. Explain what action was inhibited by the defect and which functions are now unavailable because of it. 

This will also make your developers’ lives easier as they won’t have to go out of their way to find original development documents.

Be Polite and Professional in your Software Defect Writing

Finally, regardless of how familiar you are with the development team, it’s still good practice to be professional and reserved in your software defect reports. 

Treat these documents as official data reports instead of casual correspondence with your colleagues. As we’ve mentioned, you can never know who will end up reading your defect report and you want to leave a good impression. 

Moreover, you want to maintain your company’s professional reputation by addressing each defect and part involved with respect. Once you’ve written your defect report, read it to yourself to spot any inconsistencies or areas which could be improved. You can consult a QA colleague as well to standardize your defect reports going forward and make reading them faster and easier.

Source: datafloq.com

In Summary

Writing software defect reports is essential for a successful and productive software development workflow. 

Don’t overlook the value of tracking and addressing bugs during development. While your app may be functional at its core, it won’t matter to end-users who want their money’s worth. 

Broken apps are often abandoned by the community and fail to capture public attention mere months after launch. Don’t risk your app falling into this category and write software defect reports instead. Both your investors and your users will be grateful for your foresight.

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Jessica Fender is a marketer with a deep passion for all things digital marketing-related. Jessica writes both for online outlets and academic assignments involving research papers, case studies, and essays. She especially enjoys working with students and helps them to write their essay better.