5 Reasons Why Bug Reporting is Important

Updated on:20 Jan 2022, 02:37am IST

Today, we see how the information technology (IT) industry continues to thrive with countless software applications on the rise, shaping and building the modern technological world. While many can develop new software, running them smoothly is not a cushy job.

As you run your software or website, you’re not exempted from encountering bugs. These bugs prevent applications from running smoothly and cause inconvenience for developers and end-users alike. If left unfixed, such bugs might also lead to more serious complications. And we don’t want these to happen.

All you need to know about software bugs

A computer or software bug is an error in a computer program or system that causes an application to act up or cease to function as designed. Bugs are usually prompted by an unintentional programming error, misunderstanding of requirements, faulty tools, among others.

The term was coined when an actual moth got trapped in the relay amid the development of Harvard Mark II, an early electromechanical computer.

Software bugs are not always easy to detect especially in complex software applications that are composed of millions of lines of code. Likewise, some bugs can go unnoticed because of minimal effects and some may pose greater software risks. An example of a minor bug is when a website’s log-in button does not work or when you’re directed to the wrong page. On the other hand, major bugs can cause systems to crash and close unexpectedly. Thus, it is crucial to conduct regular software testing and do bug tracking. To help detect and fix a bug, bug reporting is important.

What is a bug report?

Per BugHerd, a bug report outlines details about what is faulty and what needs fixing on a website or software. While bug reports vary, they generally include a number and title for the bug, system and browser details, clear issue description, and shreds of evidence to find out exactly what needs fixing. It also includes a request to troubleshoot the system and/or suggestions on how to resolve issues. Reporting can also be manual or automated.

It is important to prepare a clear and concise software bug report to help developers quickly grasp the issue at hand and provide solutions better.

Now, let’s dive deep into why bug reporting matters.

1. Ensure a smooth-running, future-proof software

Reporting bugs that you’ve encountered immediately enables you to keep your software running smoothly and responding faster. Plus, you can be at peace knowing that your software will continue to be efficient even in the future.

Even if they’re non-critical bugs, they may still hinder some functions. Thus, it is crucial to report and fix bugs to maintain your software’s full functionality.

2. Increase user satisfaction

Reporting and fixing bugs effectively don’t only make your software run seamlessly. They also make it more appealing to users.

Bugs are pesky technical concerns that interfere with users’ tasks or activities on your software. When frequently encountered, they may lose interest in using your software’s services. A report by QualiTest shows that 88 percent of people would leave an application if they run into bugs or glitches. Around 51 percent of them also said they would uninstall an application if they experienced at least one bug every day.

To keep your users more engaged and satisfied, it is crucial to ensure that your software is at its peak performance by regularly reporting and updating your app to resolve bug issues. Don’t wait for your users’ feedback before acting on it, fix bugs immediately for improved user experience.

3. Maintain user loyalty

Maintaining your software’s quality is important to ensure your users’ loyalty.

The performance quality of your software is integral in maintaining a company’s good reputation. From this good reputation then springs brand affinity. You’ll gain both your new and existing customers’ loyalty if you regularly monitor, report, and fix bugs as soon as you encounter them. Keeping your software running smoothly may also prompt users’ interest to download other apps from your company in the future.

4. Avoid further software complications

Some software companies fix bugs as soon as they find them. Some consider them as tomorrow’s requirement, thus postponing the time to fix bugs. Unfortunately, unfixed bugs can lead to serious complications.

Unfixed bugs camouflage other bugs. Some bugs don’t become apparent until you fix the first bug. What’s worse is that the new bug that you discover may be more grievous than the previous bug and may require great alterations to the software so it won’t affect its overall performance. You’ll never know that there might be bugs hiding in your code. Therefore, it’s vital to report and resolve bugs right away.

5. Save time and money

Proactively reporting and fixing bugs right away can save you time and money.

Keeping bugs unfixed leads to duplication of effort. The more the number of unfixed bugs, the harder it is to know whether a bug has been reported or not. Imagine if there are only three unfixed bugs and then a new bug is uncovered. It’s easier for your IT team to know whether the bug has been reported by another person. But if there are 30 unfixed bugs, it’ll be an overwhelmingly difficult and time-consuming task to identify which ones have been reported. Some reported bugs might also be duplicated, which doubles the amount of time needed for investigation and re-testing.

Resolving a bug earlier also costs less than doing it later. Per the Systems Sciences Institute at IBM, it costs six times more to fix a bug detected during the implementation phase of software than to resolve one identified during the design phase or the web or mobile app development process.

In a nutshell
As soon as you encounter bugs, make sure to report and fix them right away to keep your software smooth-running and your users satisfied. Remember, quality is a key differentiator in determining your software’s success.

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Chatty Garrate

Chatty is a freelance writer from Manila. She finds joy in inspiring and educating others through writing. That's why aside from her job as a language evaluator for local and international students, she spends her leisure time writing about various topics such as lifestyle, technology, and business.