A Bugs Life : How to Reproduce One

For this week’s blog post I found a blog that shows you how to reproduce a bug in your application. Why is this important? Well if you see something wrong in your application but cannot reproduce it this blog may help you with it. An obvious but important step to undertake is to simply gather information, and as much of it’s you possible can about the circumstances of the issue you are looking for.  Retracing the steps just before the bug appeared is a good way to do this the same goes if someone else reports the bug. Pertaining to another person reporting the bug is it a different operating system their using? A different browser or a different browser version? Again, obvious questions to some but to others they might not think about it. Keeping track of what changes, you have made trying to reproduce the bug is very important, knowing what you’ve tried and haven’t is crucial. I know this is something I would probably not keep track of which would cause me a lot of frustration. Going off of this using logs and developer tools are extremely helpful in providing a sense of direction in the behind the scenes of the application. If using a browser, especially chrome, you can simply go to the top right and find all the developer tools by clicking the three-dot menu. The blog then lists numerous factors to consider when trying to reproduce a bug, here I will discuss a few. Going back to the user end of bug, did the user not have the correct permission or a specific permission level? If so, you may be dealing with a bug that is only seen on an administrator level or by a certain type of customer. Authentication may be something to take into factor if the user cannot log or such. what is the state of the data that the user has? Can you reproduce the state exactly? The bug may only appear when a user has a very long last name or a particular type of image file. Another simple factor is configuration-based issues. Something in the application may not be set up properly. For example, a user who isn’t getting an email notification might not be getting it due to email functionality being turned of for their account. Checking all of the configurable settings in the application and trying to reproduce the issue with exactly the same configuration is the best way to check for this. Another issue some may not think about are the race conditions. The best way to determine if there is a race condition is to run your tests several times and document the inconsistent behavior. Clicking on buttons or links before a page has loaded in order to speed the input up or throttling the internet connection to slow the input down are good ideas for this. The last one they list is a simple machine or device based issue. This is probably the most common one that we face in all honestly, we’ve come across it a few times this semester even between Mac and Windows. Essentially something is working on Mac then is transferred over to a Windows device and does not work since it was originally made for a Mac and didn’t consider something small that windows does not have and more. After reproducing the bug you want to narrow the steps down to make it as efficient as possible making it easier for either you or the developer to fix in the code in the future.

All and all I thought this blog was actually pretty helpful at explaining steps on how to reproduce bugs and to help find them and make your testing process a bit smoother..



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