Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A day in the life of bug report avoider

I'm doing really well on my "No Jira" project at work. Four months in, and I've so far been forced to write one bug report in Jira, even if there's been many many things I've helped identify, address and fix.

Today is one of my particularly proud days. I was testing this new thing that the developer just introduced as soon as it was declared available. And as I was puzzled and did not seem to quite understand enough to get the response out of the software that I wanted, I immediately asked him. He walked up to my desk from the other corner of the room, was just as puzzled as me until he told me to check the version number. The number does not (yet) tell much to me but made him realize that I was on the wrong version. And a minute later, he realized his build job had failed without letting him know about it.

So I get the working version, and my main concern is these five similar switches that are not really similar. They're on/off, and one of the five is a master switch to three and the combinations are pretty hard to grasp. So I turn them all off, and then just try turning the master switch on. And I end up with confusion, again calling the dev to show me the basics. This time he is puzzled a little longer. It worked for him. It does not seem to work for me. It takes a while before he realizes that of course I have got the combination in that causes the most confusion. I thank him for help and watch him say five minutes later: "I will change that master switch. It can't work that way."

I put a lot of personal energy on trying to figure out not just how to find the problems, but how to create experiences around those problems that make people want to fix them. Jira (or similar bug tracking tools) were long in my way for this.

But I realize I can do this because I have no fear where I work, whether the fear is real or perceived. I trust that I can drive things in ways that I believe make things better. I don't feel the need of leaving a track of bug reports to show my work. And I'm grateful to be in this position as it sets us up, together as a team, better for success.