Bug reporting

contributed by: Helena Jeret-Mäe, Joep Schuurkes


After finding a bug, you will most likely need to report it. Perhaps this reporting is no more than talking to a developer, but it’s also possible you’ll need to add it to a bug tracker. Whatever form the reporting takes, the basics of a good report remain the same.

One way to remember these basics is Michael Bolton’s ​ PEW​ heuristic:


  1. Read the following blog post about an old bug in Google Calendar: http://shkspr.mobi/blog/2014/01/another-google-privacy-flaw/
  2. Using the heuristic write down the Problem, Example and Why of this bug.


Immediately after doing exercise:

  1. How does separating Problem, Example and Why help in writing a clear and easily understandable bug report?
  2. Compare the blog post with your own bug report. Which one does better on which of the three aspects?

After a few hours or days:

  1. Read the bug report you wrote. Focusing only on the bug report evaluate it on
    • understandability
    • clarity of the example
    • communicating why this bug is a bug