Finding bugs in code can be a thankless experience, especially with limited resources and a small team. But thanks to bug bash, small teams can maximize their efforts during QA software testing.
But because of how effective bug bashes can be, even big software corporations like Microsoft employ this process throughout their product development lifecycles.
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What is Bug Bash?
A bug bash is a collaborative event to squash and prevent bugs.
Bug bash is not limited to testers, so developers, product managers, engineering managers, designers, marketers, and others can also participate. As each type of person uses the software in different ways, you can effectively identify blind spots and find ways to effectively resolve issues related to tech and user experience.
Why Bug Bash is Important?
Bug bashing is beneficial for a software company in many ways, such as:
Find different kinds of bugs: Regardless of how good your coders are, there are still going to be some errors that arise during the development process. With bug bashes, multiple teams test a product to identify as many bugs as possible. And, as it’s not just development and product teams doing the testing, you might find bugs that would have gone unnoticed otherwise.
Learn about the product internally: Another advantage of bug bash is that it provides an opportunity for the in-house team to understand the product more. Since the team will be working on identifying as many bugs as possible, they will be going through the app entirely, allowing them to understand how internal systems work and interact with each other.
Cultivate teamwork and ownership culture: Bug bashes help cultivate teamwork since the in-house team will be working on a specific part of the product development, allowing each member to collaborate with one another. Since everyone is involved in the development, they’ll be much more knowledgeable and passionate about the product the business develops.
How To Do An Effective Bug Bash?
1. Use a comprehensive monitoring tool
Using bug-tracking software helps developers and testers review performance issues, identify potential bugs, track system errors, and more. You can quickly detect any anomalies that could be indicative of a software bug or other issue. With this, you can prevent a bug from becoming a major problem.
If you're looking for a reliable and effective monitoring tool for your software development team, consider Bugpilot. Our software is great for bug bashes, as you can invite multiple members into a dedicated chat, allowing for increased collaboration between teams. And, with our reporting widgets, bug-tracking Kanban boards, and session replays, team members can easily record bugs and share information with the bug bash team instantly.
2. Assign roles and responsibilities
Bug bash consists of many members, so before you start, make sure you assign roles and responsibilities to each team member. Here are the different roles and responsibilities of a bug bash team to manage bugs more efficiently:
Invitees: Invitees are the testing individuals who are involved in product development. Assign this role to members who are more familiar with the product.
Stager: The main responsibility of a stager is to create the testing environment. They are responsible for physical infrastructures, servers, databases, and testing devices. This role would be a good fit for a player who has domain knowledge, like developers.
Bug Master: The bug master is the person who conducts the bug bash event. The team member assigned to this role should set the test team and scenarios of the testing. Plus, they have to ensure that the tester is focused solely on identifying bugs.
Note-Taker: This role is for the person who likes collecting information and taking down notes. As a note-taker, you have to prove how the bugs occur, the line of code where errors have been found, and discover trends, patterns, and the nature of various bugs.
3. Determine the testing scope and duration
A bug bash usually lasts for 90 minutes, but you can experiment with different time frames and decide on what works best for your team. Here is the recommended time split:
10 minutes: In the first 10 minutes, the moderator should clearly explain the scope of the bug bash and the instructions that everyone should follow.
60 minutes: The participants should use 60 minutes for a focused and uninterrupted time to explore the application and report issues they find. The moderator and stager should be available for a chat during this time to evaluate the bugs raised by participants.
20 minutes: For the last 20 minutes, participants should explain the bugs they have captured and provide feedback on the feature they have bashed. The debriefing session is an important part of the bug bash, and participants should address the issues and explain why they should be fixed before the product is released.
4. Ensure users have access to relevant systems and environments
Before the bug bash, ensure all participants have access to the testing environment and error monitoring software, including the defect management tool. Failure to do so will result in wasted time and decreased confidence in the bug bash participants.
5. Create a bug bash report template
Proper preparation requires composing a bug report that includes the ideal bug template:
Steps to reproduce
The browser and its version
Test device (platform, model)
Screen recordings and/or screenshots
Put all found bugs in a CSV file to avoid duplicates. A Bug Master will decide which bugs to fix. Leave room for testers to suggest UX improvements and new features.
7. Define a process for filing bugs
To ensure successful bug-tracking, it may be necessary to provide clear instructions for participants who are unfamiliar with the process. A step-by-step guide could be helpful and could even be included in the calendar invite to make the process foolproof and increase participant confidence.
8. Set up a communication channel to use during the bug bash
Make use of your available communication channels to bring your team together during the bug bash and plan on how to improve software testing. With the rise of remote work, some of your attendees may not be able to attend in person, but this should not hinder your ability to recreate the experience virtually.
For instance, Bugpilot allows you to invite members into a dedicated chat for each bug report you make. Additionally, you can set up multiple workspaces, depending on what areas of a product or app is being tested.
9. Discuss the results
Collect bug data and severity levels for future improvement. Get feedback from the team to improve the next bug bash session.
Best practices for Bug Bash
1. Halt the build
Don't do a bug bash on a moving target. It invalidates repro cases and bug findings. Freeze a build and make sure no one touches the live codebase during the bug bash. Ensure the programming team understands this rule for a successful team-wide bug bash.
2. Focus on a specific bug area
To say "find bugs" is not helpful as it shows a lack of understanding of the project. Identify the weakest areas or the types of bugs you are most concerned about, and make them the primary focus of the bug bash.
3. Demonstrate effective bug reporting
Don't write bad bug reports. They waste time and create extra work. A good report is clear and includes repro steps and a search for duplicate bugs. Provide examples to help people understand. Avoid poorly written reports that need heavy clean up.
4. If required, pause and immediately plan the follow-up bug bash
Sometimes a bug occurs early in a bug bash, stopping the process. If the cause isn't clear or the bug can't be quickly fixed, it's best to pause the bug bash. Don't make everyone wait or put pressure on the engineer. Schedule a follow-up when everyone can be present again.
5. Always start from the top
To ensure comprehensive coverage, you must initiate a follow-up bug bash from the beginning of the test plan, as modifications may have impacted previously tested routes.
Bugpilot is a tool for simplifying bug bashes. With our Bug tracker, you can save your team the hassle of creating tickets by hand and use your time on more important matters. Plus, you can keep users in the loop as you can easily communicate with them the status of your bugs through our AI-generated emails so they know when their bug is fixed.
Bug Bash is a necessary step in testing software products as it enables developers and testers to detect and resolve bugs before causing issues for users. Regular Bug Bashes can enhance the quality of software and boost customer satisfaction for companies.
Bug Bashes can be challenging to organize, but BugPilot provides a solution. With its intuitive interface and extensive features, BugPilot simplifies the Bug Bash procedure and helps with bug tracking and management. Start your 14-day trial with BugPilot today!
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