Friday, January 3, 2014

When bugs feel too simple

I've spent today testing a feature reading its specification. I let the specification reading bring ideas into my head, and follow them - with the result of logging quite many bugs.

One bug in particular was a tipping point today on how I feel about my usefulness.

I was reading the specification mentioning copy feature, to realize that I've tried the feature but I have not really owned the data I'm copying, that is, intentionally creating it to be something that I would find relevant for this copy action. So I created the maximum data (filling in all the fields) with data that I could recognize (naming everything so that they tell about their location) and hit the copy button.

With some more tests, I could pinpoint the piece of data that was causing the problem, and the problem is not about the contents of the data I entered, just about me filling anything in to a particular field.

With  this bug, I could not help but to feel frustrated. A very simple way to see if a feature works is to use it. And if you will use it, why not use it with full data?

This example is from a team with me and six developers. I'm a part timer on the product, developers are full timers. And yet we, continuously, over and over again, regardless of all the discussions about developer testing end up with this: evidence of not having used the feature.

I went digging into the bugs I've logged in the last few weeks, and came to a very depressing conclusion. None of the bugs I've found required any more sophistication than this one. All it takes is a little time with the product.

Need to start doing something about this. Again and more. This is not a skills issue. This is an attitude issue. Developers can test this. For a reason I don't really get out of my team in discussions, their testing for these issues just does not happen often enough.