Back to list

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Bug Reports in QA

Oct 24, 2022
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Bug Reports in QA

When reporting bugs in your software, you must tell people exactly what went wrong and how to fix it. QA engineers make several common mistakes when writing bug reports, and it is important to avoid these at all costs. Here are the five main mistakes to avoid when writing bug reports in QA.

1) Submitting a Report Before You Finish Testing

A common mistake made by QA engineers is submitting a bug report before testing is complete. Submitting a report prematurely can result in incomplete or inaccurate information and cause frustration for the QA team and developers. Take the time to thoroughly test before creating a report. Ensure that you include all relevant information and that what you see is actually a bug. If there is an issue with how your computer is set up and not a bug, then your report should not include those details, and you might not need to write a report at all. 

Be sure to follow the developer’s instructions so that you can provide accurate and useful information.

2) Using Jargon That Not Everyone Understands 

Using jargon that only makes sense within your company is a common mistake when writing bug reports. Such unfamiliar terminology can frustrate new developers who have to fix the bugs. To avoid miscommunication, use clear and concise language that everyone can understand. 

We always say that your bug report should be so clear that your grandma could easily reproduce the bug. Otherwise, the developer may return your report in frustration, demanding you rewrite the description. While we are all unclear from time to time, it is important not to upset the developers. After all, you are a team! 

Poorly written reports can also give you an unfavorable reputation within the company, which is not a good way to start. 

3) Skipping Essential Parts of the Bug

There are seven main parts to a bug report: 

  • Summary
  • Background (system setup)
  • Reproducibility steps
  • Actual results
  • Expected results
  • Frequency of occurrence
  • Severity

When you skip one or more steps, your bug report is considered incomplete and may be returned to you by the developer. A good bug report has all the necessary parts without assuming the developers will know what you mean or expect. Try to give as much useful information as possible, including screenshots, log traces, videos, and anything else that can help the developer. They appreciate it! 

4) Not Knowing What You Are Trying to Test

As a QA engineer, knowing what you are trying to test is important. Are you testing the functionality of the software or the usability? Are you testing something else entirely? If you do not know what you are testing, it is easy to make mistakes that can invalidate your results. 

For example, if you think you are supposed to test the app on a phone but actually need to test it on a tablet, your data might not be accurate. A good QA engineer always knows what they are testing and why—otherwise, they risk making an honest mistake that could negatively affect their performance review. The details are critical in this job, and even a tiny mistake can lead to a big misunderstanding. 

5) Setting the Wrong Priority and Severity

Many junior QA engineers are very excited to find a bug and want it fixed right away. They set the priority to “HIGHEST” and expect the developer to get as excited as they are! However, setting something to the highest priority can create frustration and extra noise. When you mark a bug as a "blocker" with the highest priority, you need to make sure that is really the case. 

Use your best evaluation techniques and ask your lead or manager if you are not sure about the priority or severity of a bug. You will be surprised to know how many bugs you considered a blocker are actually not! 

How do you easily identify a blocker? There is a simple solution that most QA engineers use. You need to see if there is any way to go around the bug and still get the desired result. For example, switching to a different browser can avoid the bug. If such a way exists, it is not a blocker but a critical bug. However, If there is no way to go around the bug and it stops you from moving forward with the test, you can consider it a blocker. 

The interesting part is that not every blocker needs to be fixed immediately—thus, the priority may be LOW. Such cases exist, and we will discuss them further in this blog! 

Stay tuned!

Subscribe to Careerist Digest to stay tuned!

Careerist guarantee your privacy. Read our terms and conditions