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Top 10 Bug Reporting Skills Every QA Tester Should Know

So you’re looking to join a QA Team – great. To be valuable you need to have a couple of key bug reporting skills. Traits every QA Tester should know that will not just provide value to the team but make them indispensable to every project. Bug reporting skills is a bit of a forgotten art form, that after today we will be excited to say will be part of everything you do moving forward. We will tell you from firsthand experience having a quality assurance tester that knows what they are doing will save you thousands of dollars. Let’s dive into the top bug reporting skills every QA tester should know.

Top 10 Bug Reporting Skills Every QA Tester Should Know

1. What Makes A Good Bug Report?

Not every bug report is created equal. There is such a thing as too much information and not info data. When making a bug report it must be designed in such a way that anyone in the company can skim it and have a general idea of the defect. Keep in mind, as a QA your role is to shed light on those pesky bugs – it is not to solve the world’s problems.

Below you will notice a screenshot of our bug report from The Bug Squasher. Notice the key elements – URL, device, spots for a video, image, notes, tags and more. Our actual dashboard has the options to showcase console errors and user notes.

Yes, we are biased when it comes to bug reports – but this is the type of information teams need to clearly diagnose the issue. That’s the secret to a great QA Tester – is the info provided enough to diagnose the defect?

Bug Report

2. How To Write A Website Bug Report?

Let’s say you aren’t interested in using our tool – that’s fine. Our feeling won’t be hurt but you will still need to know how to write a bug report. We recommend it be clear, have titles and subheaders and again is a report anyone can review and be able to duplicate the bug.

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A rough skeleton to writing a bug report you can pull from is: 

A. Isolating the bug

B. Double checking your status ie are you using the latest version of the application

C. Review the bug log for similarly reported defects

D. Create a new ticket for a new bug – organization is everything

E. Have a clear title

You can quickly see how bug reporting without a defect tracking tool can be a bit of pain. Though, many QA’s still operate this way. Personally, we have seen a reduction in time spent with support tickets leveraging our defect tracking tool.

3. What Should Your Defect Title Be?

There are many project management systems out there. I remember my first introduction to a platform where the client left the title to a ticket was over ten words. That’s a pretty meaty title. Titles matter when reporting bugs. They need to be clear, simple and provide an overview of what to expect.

Your title should be as concise as possible. As the bug is looked into more it can evolve. But from the start, it needs to be clear what the core issue is.

4. Include Steps To Reproduce The Defect

How many times have you gotten an email from a website client where they say, “XYZ is broken?” Our platform was actually launched as a result of a convo with a client about this exact issue. If you want developers, clients and your team to love you, you need to include steps to reproduce the defect being reported.

There are three ways to do this:

A. The first is to write out step by step what the issue is. This is the traditional way of issue tracking.

B. The second way is by uploading screenshots and annotating on them. Screenshots alone are not enough. Sorry to brag again, but our platform includes screenshots and annotation.

C. Finally the third and most user-friendly is to send a video of the bug. This is one of the most powerful features The Bug Squasher offers. The option for users to video record.

A little pro tip – if you have clients reporting bugs to you, you’ll want to use the video option. It is easy to see an overview of what is happening and what they are doing to create the bugs.

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5. Only Share The Defect, Don’t Make Business Decisions

It’s very easy to get passionate about a project. Especially when you part of a team. As a QA Tester, your role is simply to report the bugs, nothing more and nothing less. Keep emotions outside of it.

This means if you find a defect leave emotion and suggestions out of it unless you are asked to include them. Your role is just to provide a clear report on the bug. Think of yourself as a machine doctors use to scan for viruses – at the end of the scan the patient and doctor are provided a clear report and discuss what they will do next.

Your role is key. The information you provide can literally push a project forward or shut it down. Keep emotions out of it and only share the project defect.

6. Understand How Project Management Works

It is important that every QA have basic problem-solving skills and understand the fundamentals of project management. A QA Tester is a key part of the team. You need to keep in mind deadlines. This is a bit tough because testing may actually come at the end of a project meaning you will get stress from managers to complete the tests quicker.

In these situations, respect the deadline as much as you can. Also if you need more time let the team know quickly. Don’t wait for the last minute. Discuss with the team where you are at and how much more time you think is needed.

Even if the project is delayed a few days as a result, it is better that happens then to skip the process of properly testing the application.

7. A Good QA Can Work Independently

Some companies have full-blown teams working on quality testing. Others just have a freelancer doing some QA work on weekends. Regardless of the situation, you must be able to work independently. This trait is key to some of the best QA testers out there.

You should be able to step into a situation and know what steps you need to take without supervision from your manager. The secret to being successful at this often comes from having a solid process and tools to support your efforts. which you can pull directly from this article if you like.

8. Don’t Forget To Add Attachments

Can we just make it a rule that visuals matter from now on? Now that we have written this on the web – can this just be a normal thing, please? I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen bugs reported with no attachments or visuals. It’s beyond frustrating and wastes time.

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Most people are visual. Having a visual reference helps teams clearly see what the problem is. If you use The Bug Squasher you have the option to upload screenshots, take screenshots and even video record bugs. This should be standard when reporting website bugs.

In your case, please we beg you – never report a defect without having attachments the team can reference.

9. Is Excel The Bug Report Format You Should Use?

At one point or another, you may need to share an overview of your bug reports. The general standard is to share via excel. It’s easy to import this document into project management systems. The Bug Squasher does have this export option available for users.

But what if you need to share a bug report with a client? Sharing an excel sheet just isn’t user-friendly. Our platform has a visual report you can share with your client and a separate one you can share with team members. As a QA this makes reporting the progress of your bug that much easier to track.

10. Follow Up On The Bug

You should have some type of reminder to follow up on bugs you report. Obviously, let some time pass before checking in but do check in. Developers get busy and sometimes even if you report everything right – they may reject your bug. You want to check in and make sure the team has the information they need to properly move forward.

Final Thoughts…

QA testing is a bit of an art form. With our platform, you can automate the tedious parts and offer visual aids the team will appreciate it. Never forget that being a QA alone isn’t enough – you need that added support from your team and tools to really take your issue tracking skills to the next level.

– The Bug Squasher Team

P.S. If you’re looking for a tool to clearly track website bugs as a QA and bridge the gap between you, your developers, and clients check out The Bug Squasher.

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