Saturday, 15 October 2011

Resolving Bugs

There are at least three roles in a bug report.  The first two are the bug reporter or owner of the bug who is equivalent to the Customer or Product Owner and the Software Engineer responsible for the bug.  An Architect, Technical Lead or Project Manager may exist who has more direct access to the customer, this is called QA in Bugzilla.  In certain cases the Engineer may need to escalate issues if they cannot resolve it themselves.  This can happen all the time, the Customer might raise a bug stating that functionality is missing when it is not in the requirements.  If this is not dealt with in a way that includes all stake holders, it could cause issues immediately or later on in the project at demo time.

Below is a table of resolutions and the circumstances in which they can be applied and by who.  The only possible option for the software engineer is to fix the bug or agree another resolution with the customer, or team lead.  This means that the bug will always be fixed or dealt with in a final way where the specification will be updated to reflect the new behaviour (or new understanding of behaviour) or at least a resolution agreed which should be traceable in the bug comments.  If the bug is not fixed and not agreed then it is bound to come back in the future starting with the line “I reported this months ago and it is still NOT FIXED”!

Only the Software Engineer can set.
Only the Customer can set.
Won’t Fix
Architect, Technical Lead or Project Manager can set based on agreement with customer.  Should be extremely rare.
Never set
Never set
Software Engineer can set in the interest of efficiency.  Be careful that this is truly a duplicate and the customer is in fact not describing some other behaviour.
Works For Me
Never.  Negotiate with the Customer for them to set the bug to Invalid instead.