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  1. #1
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    Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    This is a constant struggle.

    Here's the scenario:

    You're testing an application. You run across an error - for argumentís sake, we'll say it's critical priority. You take it to the developer. They say "Oh yeah, I knew about that. We're working on a work around right now."

    If they *knew* about it, why wasn't it documented? If they're (notice that is plural) working on it, why haven't they documented what they're doing?

    I'm the administrator on my problem tracking software. However, I do allow access to create a problem report to my developers.

    How do you get your developers to document problems they encounter? What are the criteria you've given them as to what constitutes a PR being written? How do you 'encourage' them to do so?

    I'm not asking them to do my job for me, but if we can catch a problem further up stream - it makes the process more efficient and effective!

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  2. #2
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    Perhaps you could start by sending copies of your Bug Tracker documentation to your developers or something similar you may have created before as guidelines on how to submit a Problem Report. A sample or two of a good Problem Report (with pictures or attachments) would be nice to include. Years ago, I created an Online Help that describes these procedures. Since you know how to create Web pages, you can provide these info thru the Web (intranet).
    Good luck to you digits!

    Sometimes, it is better IF some of our developers don't write or submit bugs. Why?
    Well, some of them do write these so-called
    "1-liner bug description" instead of a "step by step description on how to reproduce the bug" that it makes it so difficult to follow for QA when it comes to Bug Verification. Since QA is usually the only one allowed to verify and Close bugs, in most organizations.


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    [This message has been edited by Gilbert (edited 04-23-2002).]

  3. #3
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gilbert:
    Perhaps you could start by sending copies of your Bug Tracker documentation to your developers or something similar you may have created before as guidelines on how to submit a Problem Report. A sample or two of a good Problem Report (with pictures or attachments) would be nice to include.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Done! They've had it for almost a year now.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gilbert:

    Sometimes, it is better IF some of our developers don't write or submit bugs. Why?
    Well, some of them do write these so-called
    "1-liner bug description" instead of a "step by step description on how to reproduce the bug" that it makes it so difficult to follow for QA when it comes to Bug Verification. Since QA is usually the only one allowed to verify and Close bugs, in most organizations.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Very true - but it would be a step up from the nothing they give me now...



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  4. #4
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    Hmmm.....let's see
    This one worked well at Canon once so here it is: (hopefully, your VP of Engineering can afford it)
    At Canon (Information Services Division), we had our VP of Engineering ran his own show by offering his programmers the extra rewards, bonus, money, etc. for each bug they fixed. As soon as his program gets going, you won't believe how many bugs each developer were submitting daily! This went on for at least 6 months. Then, I guess, he either went broke or discovered that some of his developers were intensionally creating their very own bugs and fixing them just to get their bonuses. Wow! Wish they do something like that for QA. I would have been a Billionaire by now

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  5. #5
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    Maybe a not so subtle-approach:

    Talk to your Mgr. Your Mgr talks to their Mgr. Their Mgr talks to them.

    If this is part of your company workflow, and they're supposed to be doing this...then all they're doing is making your job that much more difficult....

    And with all the cutbacks you've posted about...didn't they make your job hard enough?

    Now my situation's a little different. I've got people (dev) not following the workflow.

    But these people are also my managers. I'm not sure how I'm going to approach it.

    ------------------
    WinAmp. Llama Tested. Mother Approved.
    Jordan Gottlieb - Keeper of the QA Forums FAQ
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    Jordan Gottlieb
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  6. #6
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    What's the problem, digits? Is it a corporate "rule" that developers write bug reports? If so, they broke the rule and should be penalized.

    Telling someone that they knew about a bug and didn't create the bug report is a serious offense. Admitting you are working on a fix for the undocumented bug gets you in deeper trouble, because you aren't working on your assigned bugs.

    Developers are people, too. They can be told what to do, and be required to follow procedures. They don't participate in the software development process as a favor to testers. It's their job.

    Can you tell this is a hot topic for me?

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    Paul
    Paul

  7. #7
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    Our source code control system is integrated with our change request system, such that the only way a developer can check in a piece of code is by associating it with a change request, and only if that change request has a status of "implementation". This takes care of making sure something gets written up. It still doesn't solve the problem of the problem report reading something like, "FTP problem in xyz_123," the analyst writing, "Agree with problem description, need to change FTP command in xyz_123," and the implementor writing, "Fixed per analyst's recommendation." Then it shows up on my desk and I'm supposed to verfiy the fix, which generally means a series of phone calls and/or emails to figure out what needs to be tested. On a couple occaisions we've actually demoted change requests back to implentation and required them to write up a more detailed explanation, but usually we just cope with it and get it done.

    I'm not sure any of that helped, but I felt good venting a little.

    ------------------
    Charles Reace

    charles{DOT}reace{AT}verizon{DOT}net
    web site | [url=http://www.ebookworm.us/[/url]

    [i]...Sound trumpets! Every trumpet in the host! / Sixty thousand, on these words, sound, so high the mountains sound, and the valleys resound.&lt;/i] (The Song of Roland)

  8. #8
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by digits71:
    This is a constant struggle.

    Here's the scenario:

    You're testing an application. You run across an error - for argumentís sake, we'll say it's critical priority. You take it to the developer. They say "Oh yeah, I knew about that. We're working on a work around right now."

    If they *knew* about it, why wasn't it documented? If they're (notice that is plural) working on it, why haven't they documented what they're doing?

    I'm the administrator on my problem tracking software. However, I do allow access to create a problem report to my developers.

    How do you get your developers to document problems they encounter? What are the criteria you've given them as to what constitutes a PR being written? How do you 'encourage' them to do so?

    I'm not asking them to do my job for me, but if we can catch a problem further up stream - it makes the process more efficient and effective!

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    First, when the developer said, oh yeah we knew about it and working on the issues. Most of the time, they are really working on it, but doesn't know it in detail or what causes it yet. Some software are so humonguos that you can't tell whether the bugs really came from Application, driver etc ..If they simply create a report, and somehow later they problem really isn't a bug but just a common mis-configuration, they will be responsible for those explaination of why didn't they research first before reporting it. So there is nothing much to document.

    Second, you need to get management involve of encouraging a particular practice. Management just like a traffic light. You will never get anywhere without their support.

    ------------------
    How many ways can I break your code
    ================================
    IBM Certified Database Administrator
    Sun Certified Java Programmer
    Oracle Certified Associate

  9. #9
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    Digits,

    At least your developers were working on the solution - albeit without documenting it first in a problem report.

    I wonder some time how many developers find a problem - but quickly move on - not documenting it and not fixing it - figuring , hey if it really is a problem QA/Test will find it and document it. Clearly an attitude thing, Education of why it is in everyone's interest is one thing, but you know the saying "you can lead a horse to water...but you can't make it drink" comes to mind.


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  10. #10
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    Re: Getting Developers To Document Their Problem Reports

    Looks like you need to implement a Phased approach and tighten up exit criteria from development.

    Personally I would kick the developers butt, but such archaic methods are frowned upon these days.

    It is fine to release into test a product with known problems, but the development lead/manager should publish this to the test team at least. Project Manager should know as it will be a risk to his/her schedule.

    ------------------
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com
    Robert Tehve
    rtehve@bigpond.com

 

 
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