Any software engineer knows you won’t crank out perfect code every time. No matter how sharp your skills or rigorous your testing, a few bugs are bound to slip through the cracks every now and then.
But bugs don’t have to bring you down.
With a clear reporting and tracking process in place, your team can detect and debug issues quickly so your software gets back on track with minimal downtime and customer frustration.
We created a free bug report and issue tracking template to help you get started right away.
Before we dig into the nitty-gritty details of bug reporting, let’s pause for a moment to define it. A bug report is basically the roadmap you give your developers to help them get to the bottom of a software issue—like broken functionality or a feature that doesn’t display properly—and fix it.
You might submit a bug report through a formal ticketing system or project management tool. That way your team can take the report and track the issue all the way to resolution.
Organizing and prioritizing issues lays a clear path to resolution for your team. Use these categories as your guide to ensure your bug tracker’s easy to follow—whether you use a project management tool or even a simple Google Sheet to log software defects.
The first thing you’ll want to do is organize bug reports by issue status. That way, there’s no question about where each issue stands in the resolution process, and the team can see every bug through to its fix.
Most software development teams sort issues into these 4 status categories:
Got a feature that’s particularly buggy? If you know it’s going to take multiple fixes to work out the kinks, consider organizing bugs into feature subgroups within each status category. Adding this extra layer of structure to your bug tracker provides a helpful visual aid for your team so they can tackle related issues faster.
The final piece of the bug tracker puzzle is the bug itself. Each issue should be documented with a detailed bug report. Let’s take a closer look at the elements of a good bug report with an example of what it might look like.
A good bug report gives software developers a clear picture of the problem so they can resolve the issue more quickly. These must-haves are the pillars of any standard bug report.
The first thing you’ll want to do is give that bug a name. Keep it short and sweet, with just enough detail to tell your software engineering team what’s happening and what feature or functionality is affected.
It’s also important to explain how you uncovered the defect in the first place. Consider these questions:
The more details here the better. When you can duplicate an issue, the easier it is to find the cause.
Your mom may have told you to shake “coulda, woulda, shoulda” from your vocabulary. But this line of thinking shines in bug reporting. Write down what should have happened when you took the steps that set the bug into action.
Now that you’ve laid your expectations out clearly, it’s time to describe the reality in all its ugly, buggy detail. Remember, a picture’s worth a thousand words. Attach a screenshot or screen capture of the issue to help your team pinpoint a resolution faster.
If you really want to throw your dev team a solid, give them some additional info to work with. These extras can help your software engineers get to the root of the problem faster and figure out where the fix fits into the rest of their priorities.
This is just a fancy way of saying: Where does the bug live and hide? Here’s how to point the way so your developers can hunt the defect down more quickly.
Knowing how many customers the bug impacts—and even what it’s potentially costing you—helps your software engineering team determine the severity of the issue. That way they can prioritize the fix appropriately.
The browser console gives developers a behind-the-scenes look at the web app action. This handy tutorial shows you how to access the console in various browsers. Once you get there, you can take a screenshot of any errors you see logged in your console and attach it to your bug report.
Here’s an example of how you might write a bug report using these elements:
Every software development project comes with its own unique set of challenges—bugs included. But that doesn’t mean you can’t establish a smooth and consistent process for resolving issues.
With our free bug report and issue tracking template, you can log and track bugs easily in one place without spending tons of time on setup. Plus, you’ll get access to the following features to level up your bug-squashing power:
Ready to give the software bug report template a try? Get started for free.
Everyone has a different way of working through bugs. Let’s look at some examples of how to use our free bug report template for logging and tracking software issues in TeamGantt.
The gantt chart makes organizing your bug list quick and easy so everyone knows what to focus on when. Here’s how to make it work for you.
Capture all the important issue details in the task Notes so your development team has everything they need to effectively squash the bug. (Feel free to use markdown to format text.) We use Comments for uploading screenshots and any back-and-forth discussions needed to resolve the issue.
Color-coding creates an easy visual for indicating the priority or status of a bug. You can also use colors to indicate who’s responsible for resolving which issues at a glance.
List view gives you another easy way to log and organize bugs in your tracker. It offers the same drag and drop functionality as Gantt view, with a simplified interface everyone on your team can get on board with using.
Your software developers may prefer tracking progress with a board since it’s a common tool used in Agile projects. Here’s how to transform your issue log into a board with just a few quick steps:
Ready to start building your own bug tracker? We’ve created a free bug report and issue tracking template for you in TeamGantt so you can jump right in!
Customizing the template is quick and easy, thanks to TeamGantt’s drag and drop simplicity. And since everything’s online, your whole team can collaborate on activities in real time.
Sign up for a free TeamGantt account today, and save time on project setup with this free bug report and issue tracking template!