Rules

Secret ingredients to quality software

Do you fix bugs with a phone call?

Last updated by Taine Riley on 16 Aug 2021 11:55 pm (4 months ago) See History

Developers don’t really like fixing bugs, but it’s part of what they do from time to time. This is mainly because it interrupts your flow, so it’s good to get it out of the way quickly. 

You receive a bug report...
you read it, try to reproduce it, and try to fix it.

If you can’t reproduce it, you then call the client and ask them to walk you through it.
Then you fix it - if they were able to reproduce the issue.

Bad example - Time spent trying to reproduce the bug by yourself

You receive a bug report...
you don’t read it.

You immediately call the client and ask them to reproduce the issue.
If they are able to reproduce it, then you fix it. 

Good example - Calling the bug reporter first

Sometimes the client can’t reproduce the issue, or it turns out that the problem was external, e.g. an internet connectivity issue and not related to the product. In this case, there is nothing to fix, and you can close the bug report and get back to whatever you were supposed to be focusing on that day. In this case, we’ve fixed a bug with a phone call. We’ve also shown the client that we’re really responsive and care about issues that they encounter. 

Prioritizing communication is paramount and this is another great way of doing that.

Penny WalkerPenny Walker

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