TechDogs-All You Need To Know About "Bug Tracking Software"

Software Development

All You Need To Know About Bug Tracking Software

By TechDogs

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What is common between a movie critic and a Bug Tracking Software? Both find mistakes and are disliked by directors and developers respectively. Jokes apart, a buggy software can really pull the rug from under your product. In this article, we discuss the nitty gritty of a Bug Testing Software, where did it came from, how it works, where it is headed in the future and why it is hailed as the Pied Piper of the developer world. What are you waiting for? Start reading about the perfect bug story.

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TechDogs-"Bug Tracking Software"
In 2012, Apple decided to take on Google's much loved and used feature to create a version of their own - Maps. All iPhones released that year were devoid of Google Maps and were replaced with the home-grown map app. However, staying true to Murphy's law, things went horribly wrong with Apple Maps- entire train stations, bridges, freeways and tourist attractions were missing or mislabeled. To an extent that users reported the main train station of Auckland showing up in the middle of an ocean! That was a major boo-boo on Apple's part.

The reason behind it? Investigation revealed an exhausting number of bugs in Apple's software resulting in these mix-ups. While Apple has been fixing these problems since, it may find it difficult to restore trust in its Map App.

Did you know that experts estimate that software developers make approximately 100-150 errors for every thousand lines of code? Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ) states, "Even if only a small fraction - say 10 percent - of these errors are serious, then a relatively small application of 20,000 lines of code will have roughly 200 serious coding errors."

Think about it, all the essential services, including health care, military, governance, banking and finance, use at least one software to run all their functions. Imagine the havoc in society if this service software are rampant with bugs and errors?

Don't go down that rabbit hole right now, the right question is: How can we track bugs and bug fix these before they magnify? The solution is Bug Tracking Software AKA BTS. (That was for all the K-pop fans out there!)

Seriously? I thought we were talking about tracking real bugs, what's a Bug Tracking Software?

What Is A Bug Tracking Software?

Stop dreaming about A Bug's Life, yes, they are cute but we are on a mission to learn about Bug Tracking Software. As the name suggests, the software is all about bug reporting (errors) and defect tracking tools as revealed during software testing. The end goal? - To ensure that all bugs are tracked by this bug tracking tool and the issues are resolved i.e. bug fix is done as early as possible.

Once bug/s are identified in the live or testing environment of a software, they are either automatically or manually added to the Bug Tracking Software. From here on, the BTS ensures through its bug report that any bug, minor or critical, is tracked till it is resolved, so that your customers don't get bugged.

Wondering whoever sat and thought of a better way of issue tracking errors in a software before everything came crashing down? Let's look at how Bug Tracking Software evolved.

Evolution Of Bug Tracking Software

History can be tedious; however, this very Bug History proved to the developers and the development teams that even the smallest bugs could cause a mind-throbbing-ear-piercing-headache. This resulted in the need for the Bug Tracking Software. The earliest Bug Tracking Software was an on-premises one, which meant they needed to be installed locally. Then came the cloud-computing era, which brought web-based bug tracking solutions. We've listed some of the most significant happenings in the evolution of Bug Tracking Software.

1994 - Debuggs was developed as the software powering the Debian project's bug tracking system

1998 - Bugzilla was launched, perhaps the oldest web-based tracking system written in Perl language and is still in active use

2000 - Mantis, a popular bug tracker written in PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) was introduced to the world. This bug tracking system improvised on Bugzilla, providing more customization to users, in this case, testers.

2003 - JIRA was built in Java solution by Atlassian. JIRA software is famous for integrating with other applications that help in project management and documentation.

2005 - Azure DevOps Server provided project management with testing and release management capabilities

After this interesting tidbit, let's move to how the bug capturing tool works.

How Do Bug Tracking Software Work?

TechDogs-How Bug Tracking Software Work?-All About Evolution Of "Bug Tracking Software"

There is a wise saying, "If you know you are on the right track, then nobody can turn you off." If software bugs are the problem, Bug Tracking Software tracks them for you to easily solve them. It creates a database for all the bugs and errors and automatically reports them to you. Don't worry, it also provides the testers the option to manually bug report but hey, why not let the machine work for you?
Essentially, the Bug Reporting Tracking Software categorizes the reported bugs as per the organization's defined criteria: Low, Medium and Critical. This helps the developers prioritize their efforts based on the criticality of the error.

All in all, the software cuts through the noise of thousands of codes and gives your development team an efficient system to view and fix the software bug along with the approximate resolution time.

Still not sure about how important a Bug Tracking Software is to your business. Let's get some facts in about...

Importance And Features Of Bug Tracking Software

In 2019, two Australians uncovered a bug in McDonald's ordering kiosks that enabled them to get their hands on a free burger. It was a while before McDonald's could fix this error and stop the free burger drive. A good Bug Tracking Software would have ensured that this bug didn't slip through the cracks before it cost the company money and reputation. What else can a bug tracking tool do you? Here's a quick list of all the must have features of a good Bug Tracking Software:

A dependable issue management and tracking software will allow you to add fields to the business custom workflow. You can give numbers, IDs or even pet names to the bugs that you are tracking. Who said you can't have a pet bug?!

Of course, the tool should offer you a time tracking feature for you to calculate how long a bug has been open, how long does software teams take to fix it, etc.

Software development and testing is a team effort that requires a wee bit of development team collaboration too. Your Bug Tracking Software should offer team collaboration features such as adding comments, receiving email notifications, etc.

As a business, the reporting and analytics feature of bug tracking is as important as the process of debugging software. Your Bug Tracking Software should give you the progress report of all things related to software bugs, including the number of bugs, criticality and category, team productivity, etc. Some software can provide all this information and more in a single dashboard as well.
Most importantly, the issue tracking software should work as a centralized repository of all the bugs discovered, reported, solved, its resolution and even unsolved bugs for future reference.

Those are a lot a lot of features, how do they benefit you though?

Do Modern Businesses Need A Bug Tracking Software? What Are The Benefits If They Invest In One?

When Chris Reynolds opened his PayPal e-mail statement for June 2013, his bank balance read 92,233,720,368,547,800. That is 92 QUADRILLION DOLLARS. Chris Reynolds, too, stared at it with the same disbelief as you are now but this did happen. This made Chris Reynolds the richest man in ummm... the history of money. PayPal realized this error and the account was restored to its correct state but such kinds of bugs can prove costly, even for a company like PayPal. That is the reason you need Bug Tracking Software. An efficient Bug Tracking Software will help you with:
  • Accountability

    Testers report it as a bug; developers deny it. The love-hate relationship between testers and developers can prove detrimental to the quality of the software. The best way to ensure clear communication and accountability is the Bug Tracking Software.

  • Prioritizing

    A database with 100 bugs won't serve any purpose if the team does not know which ones to resolve first. Bug Tracking Software can prioritize the bug fixes based on the criticality.

  • Reviewing

    Bug Tracking solution ensures the review process is done correctly. If the bug is fixed, it should be tested by the quality assurance team to approve it as resolved. This minimizes slip-ups and embarrassment at a later stage.

  • Ensuring A Streamlined Process

    Bug Tracking Software is a centralized repository that highlights bugs' entire log details. This helps the agile teams minimize the repetition of same bugs while working on new features and task management of requirements.

This is awesome already; how much better can it be in the future?

The Future Of Bug Tracking Software

Right now, one of the major issues that are bugging (pun intended!) the Bug Tracking Software lacks comprehensive compatibility. While a majority of the software use APIs to provide a sort of visual feedback to the teams, this can still be improved. Before Bug Tracking Software was developed, the list of bugs was maintained in spreadsheets by software teams and was emailed to concerned teams. Now, Bug Tracking Software is moving towards a more integrated approach with the help of AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology. As AI is making a foray into project management, it has also paved the way to include it in Bug Tracking Software. This will empower organizations to weed out bugs faster and provide quality solution to their customers at a rapid pace.

That's all folks!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Bug Tracking Software?

A Bug Tracking Software, often abbreviated as BTS, is a tool used in software development and testing processes to identify, report, and track bugs or errors encountered in software applications. Its primary purpose is to ensure that all identified bugs are recorded, categorized, and resolved in a timely manner to maintain the quality and functionality of the software. Bug Tracking Software helps streamline the bug-fixing process by providing a centralized platform for developers and testers to collaborate, prioritize, and track bug resolution efforts.

How do Bug Tracking Software work?

Bug Tracking Software operates by creating a database of reported bugs and errors, either automatically or manually entered by testers or developers during software testing. These bugs are categorized based on predefined criteria such as severity level (low, medium, critical) or type of issue. The software then facilitates communication and collaboration among team members, allowing them to assign, prioritize, and track the resolution of bugs. Additionally, Bug Tracking Software often offers features such as time tracking, team collaboration tools, and reporting capabilities to streamline the bug-fixing process and ensure efficient resolution of software issues.

How has Bug Tracking Software evolved over time?

The evolution of Bug Tracking Software can be traced through significant milestones. In 1994, Debuggs powered the Debian project's bug tracking system, marking an early development. In 1998, Bugzilla, written in Perl, became one of the oldest web-based tracking systems still in use. The year 2000 introduced Mantis, a PHP-based bug tracker, offering more customization for users. JIRA, a Java-based solution by Atlassian, emerged in 2003, focusing on integration with other applications for project management. The evolution continued with Azure DevOps Server in 2005, providing comprehensive project management with testing and release management capabilities.

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