August 3, 2020

Ask QA: Should You Always Report Bugs?

Someone recently asked me:

Should you keep raising bugs that you know won’t get fixed? Isn't it a waist of people's time during the ticket triage to look at very minor issues?

Answer: First of all, QA should not be looking for reasons to NOT create bug reports. QA should file tickets for every bug that they encounter. Then they should assign the right priority to that issue. It's up to Product/Dev to decide on how to triage the minor issue.

Tickets should be created for every issue. Here are some reasons why:

Sometimes they get fixed: In some instances, I have seen developers fix multiple issues in a common code base just because they have the file open and can make the modifications.

It's a test of a good QA Team - Engineers and Product will see that QA is active and finding things. It shows that QA is looking for issues and reporting them. If customers are reporting issues that QA isn't finding, well that could question how good the QA team is.

Bug Patterns - I have found that finding little bugs can lead to finding the bigger bugs. When developers are sloppy in some areas, it's a sign that they may be sloppy in another area. So when I find a minor issue. It makes me stop and think, is there another issue here that may not be so obvious.

Maybe the Feature isn't Ready, yet - If QA finds a lot of minor issues, it's might be something that the product team to sit back and take notice. Should a new feature/product really go to market with so many minor issues? If they aren't addressed now, when will they be?

Don't be Discouraged

Minor tickets can be frustrating to find and report - even if QA knows that no one will read the full bug. However, there may be a time when the bug will get fix, so it's important to report the issue.

Some Pointers

  • Don't spend too much time writing up the minor tickets. Just do the bare minimum on reporting. If the Dev team needs clarification, you can always go back and add value to the report.
  • Generate a report of the minor bugs. If you do daily or weekly QA reports, make sure to highlight the minor bugs found. This will help highlight the issues that QA has found. There's strength in numbers.
  • Combine Issues - When you have some downtime, revisit some of the old minor issues and see if it makes sense to combine several minor issues into a single ticket - which may make the new ticket a higher priority.

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