Software applications are created with utmost care, after continuous testing at every stage of the software development process. Software engineers spend hours and days in developing a software, so that it has perfect features, performance and spectacular effectiveness. Their aim is to ensure that the end product is error and bug free, and that it fulfils all the demands and requirements of client or the end user. The defects in the software applications are detected and resolved through various testing methods, techniques and tools. Moreover, these defects usually occur due to mistakes or errors made by the programmer during the development phase of the software.
Defects are code based and can affect the expected results of the application. Also, any serious error or bug can harm the reputation of the developer as well as the organisation it is developed for. Hence, to make sure all defects are properly monitored and tackled during the software development process, software engineers prepare a defect report, which provides the detailed information of the defects and errors found during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
Defects reports are tremendously essential to software testing. They communicate issues and errors found in the software to the developers and other stakeholders, to ensure transparency and clear communication between them. When initially discovered, one can confuse defects with an undocumented requirements change, a user error, or a misunderstanding. However, it is important that the defect is quickly identified and brought to the developers’ attention. Once these defects are uncovered, testers generate a formal defect report. The purpose of this report is to state the problem as clearly as possible, so that developers can replicate the defect easily and fix it effortlessly. Therefore, a defect report should:
Reporting defects is important for several reasons. It documents an irregularity discovered during testing and includes all the information needed to reproduce the problem, including the author, release/build number, open/close dates, problem area, problem description, test environment, defect type, how it was detected, who detected it, priority, severity, status, and more. In short, defect reports contain details of actions in the software application that don’t provide expected results. Other reasons that make defect reporting important are:
The information provided in the defect reports is helpful to all stakeholders as well as other tester who might face a similar problem in the future. Therefore, to ensure that the defect report is perfect and conveys all the necessary information, it is essential to include some important details in it, which can make the process of understanding the defect report easy. The elements that should be included in a defect report are:
Finding and fixing bugs is a challenging task that consumes a lot of time and efforts. Testers and developers at times spend days tracking an error, which affects the end result of the project. Similarly, reporting defects is also a time consuming process, which requires intense and continuous testing as well as monitoring of defects and errors. Therefore, to assure that the defects are reported effectively, so that time and effort is not unnecessarily wasted in trying to understand and reproduce the defect, it is important for testers to follow a set guideline while preparing defect report. These guidelines are:
Defect reports are among the most important deliverables to come out of testing. They have a direct impact on the quality of the product, so a tester should take excessive care and some time to create a defect report. The defect report is the most effective manner of communicating, tracking and explaining defects to the manager and development team. The more logical, organized, and detailed the report, the more likely a developer can reproduce it without assistance or without having to request more information. Defect reports contain details of actions in the software application, which is a vital information for application development management and staff and is used to fix areas of the application that don't work properly. Therefore, to ensure superior software quality, performance, functionality and effectiveness, it is essential for the testing team to create a detailed and informative defect report.