Learn how to report a bug

Posted on:October 16 2015

From time to time, I get bug reports like this:
Your software doesn't work anymore since yesterday on my system.

So... what software does the user talk about? He didn't select any product from the list (he choose the default, 'other'). But I am currently selling a handful of products. And what does he mean with "doesn't work"? Does it crash? Doesn't it do its job anymore? Does it do it in a way the user doesn't expect it to be done? And what happened 'yesterday', which caused the change in behavior? Did he maybe upgrade his system? Hell, what is actually his system? Windows? Mac OS X? Android? He didn't mention this at all. So all in all, a pretty useless bug report.

Anyway, this is ok, I usually try and am able to find out what the user actually meant, by asking back a few questions. Average users have no idea how software works in detail, and they are usually pretty friendly and helpful when I ask them for details.

But If you are a programmer, then you have absolutely no excuse to send me a worthless bug report like this. What the hell were you thinking!? You now wasted our both times. You could have written a few more lines, and your problem would probably be resolved right now. Instead, I now have to write lots of emails and go back and forth with you, trying to find your problem.

Why am I writing this? Recently, I get more and more mails similar like this. From programmers. What has happened? Did programmers stop thinking suddenly? I don't know. Are they becoming lazy? Not sure. But I start to begin thinking about simply not answering mails like that.





Comments:


Ticket status: Closed.
Reason: Could not reproduce.
Comment: Software still works fine since yesterday.

;)
Tazo
Quote
2015-10-16 12:20:00


http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html
dt
Quote
2015-10-16 14:45:00


Most "programmers" nowadays are not worthy of the title. Less than 1% of working programmers are competent, but because there is such a large perceived need for them by management, they keep on hiring unqualified people. It's almost impossible to fail a degree course nowadays, so university qualifications mean nothing.

Get used to it, programmers are getting dumber. The only thing to do is get them to pay for tools that make them look less dumb.
Grizzled veteran
Quote
2015-10-17 22:16:00


More often than not the problem is between chair and keyboard. :)
xaos
Quote
2015-10-21 09:58:00


I am used to our system, where we can not file a bug ticket unless we can reproduce it consistently and write descriptively
marcos
Quote
2015-10-28 07:44:00


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