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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How QA Can Help Engineers

When I first started QA I had this bug that I found that crashed the website I was testing. When I wrote the bug report on it, all I wrote was minimal steps of reproduction. Later an engineer came up to me to help me write a bug report as well as further diagnose this issue. Let me share with you the steps he shared with me.
First, write the bug report as if the person has never seen the program you are working with. In the example that I gave, it was such a minimal description of the steps to reproduce the bugs that later on, when asked about it, I had difficulty following my own steps. Another thing that helped me with this is that I started going through old bugs and trying to reproduce those with the steps give. For a lot of those bugs I could not follow the reproduction steps and the person who had reported it was no longer at the company. I had to close the bug as not reproducible, but in reality I had no idea and everyone I had asked had no idea.
Second he told me that pictures are your friends. If you can master the art of screenshots and .gifs your engineers will praise you. In this same example something that I did do was record my screen. This, in the end, is the reason I was able to rewrite the steps to reproduce again in such a way that other people were able to reproduce the issue and eventually resolve the bug. I have never reported a bug without at least one screenshot. When I do automation I always have it take a screenshot upon failure, so that I can at least see what the error is causing the program to do.
The final thing he told me was that make sure what environment it is in and what browser. The web based application I was testing needed to be tested in IE11, Edge, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. There were times when I would find a bug that was specific to the browser. The same happened with OS, seemed to be more bugs around MacOS than Linux or Windows.
The bottom line or the takeaway from this is that you need to realize that everything you leave out of your bug report is another minute wasted. The reason why this would be a minute wasted is that the programmer would have to spend more time diagnosing the problem, or spending time talking to you. If they are talking to you they are not working on the problem therefore it would be money and time wasted.

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