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120
votes
17answers
20k views

Is there any way to get faster at solving bugs? I've just had a warning from my boss

I've just been told by my boss that I will receive a negative performance review on Monday. He wants to talk to me about why I am so slow and why my bug fix rate is so low. I love programming and ...
64
votes
16answers
3k views

Should organizations penalize developers for the amount of defect reports filed against code they worked on? [duplicate]

Should organizations penalize developers for defect reports filed against their work products? I was having a discussion with my friend where he asks if a manager taking the number of defects filed ...
61
votes
7answers
3k views

After years of working alone, other developers will finally see my (buggy) code. What should I do? [duplicate]

I have been working on a system alone for about four years. I have built it from the ground up. It is not a perfect system. It is very complex, it is buggy, and the business is now becoming aware of ...
53
votes
14answers
3k views

Is it reasonable to insist on reproducing every defect before diagnosing and fixing it?

I work for a software product company. We have large enterprise customers who implement our product and we provide support to them. For example, if there is a defect, we provide patches, etc. In other ...
43
votes
19answers
3k views

How come compilers are so reliable?

We use compilers on a daily basis as if their correctness is a given, but compilers are programs too, and can potentially contain bugs. I always wondered about this infallible robustness. Have you ...
42
votes
24answers
4k views

Most common “Y2K-style” bugs today? [closed]

I don't specifically mean date-related issues like 2038, but more generally, bugs that fit the pattern: A generation ago, programmers tended to write code that ass-u-me-d X, which was reasonable at ...
39
votes
9answers
2k views

Code maintenance: To add comments in code or to just leave it to the version control?

We have been asked to add comments with start tags, end tags, description, solution etc for each change that we make to the code as part of fixing a bug / implementing a CR. My concern is, does this ...
37
votes
12answers
3k views

What programming language generates fewest hard-to-find bugs? [closed]

What language, in your opinion, allows the average programmer to output features with the least amount of hard-to-find bugs? This is of course, a very broad question, and I'm interested in very broad ...
34
votes
24answers
3k views

What's the scariest piece of Other People's Code you've ever had to maintain? [closed]

It's happened to all of us. Maybe the original author is no longer with the company, or maybe the boss just doesn't trust him to fix it (Kernighan's Law). Either way, they gave it to you, and you ...
34
votes
9answers
3k views

What's a schrödinbug?

This wiki page tells : A schrödinbug is a bug that manifests only after someone reading source code or using the program in an unusual way notices that it never should have worked in the first ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

Who should pay for fixes/bugs?

So I just started freelancing both in desktop/web development and this client who already accepted my work, and payed me keeps coming back at me each time he finds a bug etc. And I have found myself ...
28
votes
12answers
2k views

What's the name for a bug that suddenly breaks things but has always been present? [closed]

We had a failure in our software today and after investigating discovered that the failure should have been occurring for weeks, but it waited until this morning to rear its ugly head. Is there an ...
28
votes
10answers
1k views

Are By-Design “Bugs” a Bad Sign?

Is it a bad sign if users submit bug reports for things that are by design? Does it typically mean that the application is confusing or unclear, or should I just chalk it up to a one-off user mistake ...
27
votes
17answers
4k views

How to reduce the number of bugs when coding?

No one's perfect, and no matter what we do, we are going to produce code that has bugs in it from time to time. What are some methods/techniques for reducing the number of bugs you produce, both when ...
25
votes
10answers
3k views

Can compilers and interpreters have bugs, and what can we (as users) do to deal with them? [closed]

If a compiler's work is essentially translating source code into machine level code, can there be any glitch in a compiler, i.e. a faulty "translation?" The same goes for an interpreter: can it fail ...
25
votes
11answers
4k views

What did Alan Perlis mean regarding the ways to write error-free programs?

There's a quotation by Alan J. Perlis that says: There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works. I recently heard this quote from my friend, and was unable to ...
25
votes
13answers
2k views

Fix bugs, or wait for the customer to find them?

Do other people fix bugs when they see them, or do they wait until there's crashes/data loss/people die before fixing it? Example 1 Customer customer = null; ... customer.Save(); The code is ...
22
votes
6answers
1k views

Understanding the problem when things break in production

Scenario: You push to production The push broke multiple things That same build did not break qa or dev As a developer, you don't have prod access. There is lots of pressure from above to get ...
21
votes
16answers
2k views

What is the hardest bug to find? [closed]

If possible write how to avoid this kind of bug (besides testing, of course, please write a specific technique)
21
votes
1answer
2k views

What is an untriaged bug?

I am an undergrad studying Computer Science. When I tried reporting bugs to several projects, I came across the classification untriaged a lot. A web search didn't really explain what this means. ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Story points for bug fixing tasks: Is it suitable for Scrum?

I'm just wondering if we should assign story points to bug fixing tasks or not. JIRA, our issues-tracking software, does not have story point field for Bug type issues (it's only for Storys and ...
18
votes
9answers
2k views

Definition of a Software bug. Blizzard Entertainment insists that my “bug” is not a bug at all. Are they right? [closed]

According to Wikipepdia, A software bug is the common term used to describe an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected ...
18
votes
10answers
2k views

Why is software still released with known bugs? [closed]

It seems that frequently in large projects the software is still released with the bug tracker full of bugs. Now I can understand feature requests, but several times I've seen large numbers of bugs ...
18
votes
11answers
422 views

Fixing a bug while working on a different part of the code base

This happened at least once to me. I'm working on some part of the code base and find a small bug in a different part, and the bug stops me from completing what I'm currently trying to do. Fixing the ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

What amount of time should be spent on bugs vs original development?

This question is a little abstract but I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. My question is what amount of time can one expect to devote to a software project's bugs in relation to ...
17
votes
4answers
735 views

How should I go about fixing code from a less-experienced programmer?

A little background: I am one of two programmers for our department of 10 people (the rest are artists and management). The two of us do all of the coding required to make things flow well, and ...
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Why not use the word bug instead of exception?

If we refer to exceptions as bugs, why not just call it a bug in the first place instead of an exception? If in the code it's called exception and as soon as it occurs it's called a bug. Then why not ...
14
votes
10answers
1k views

What to do with bugs that do not repro?

I have a tester that while testing will have an error occur (ok so far), but then he frequently reports it right away. We (the developers) then later find that the tester has not tried to reproduce ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Keeping agile with zero-bug/defect policy

In our project we work in a zero-bug (a.k.a zero-defect) methodology. The basic idea is that bugs are always higher in priority than features. If you're working on a story and it has a bug it must be ...
13
votes
12answers
3k views

Is it possible to reach absolute zero bug state for large scale software?

I am talking about 20-30+ millions lines of code, software at the scale and complexity of Autodesk Maya for example. If you freeze the development as long as it needs to be, can you actually fix all ...
13
votes
17answers
466 views

What do you consider to be the prime cause of software defects (and how to minimize them) [closed]

I define defect as : "something within the application design or code which prevents it functioning as per requirements." I'm looking for ideas about the causes of defects, eg the human factor, ...
13
votes
7answers
846 views

Are all security threats triggered by software bugs?

Most security threats that I've heard of have arisen due to a bug in the software (e.g. all input is not properly sanity checked, stack overflows, etc.). So if we exclude all social hacking, are all ...
13
votes
5answers
386 views

Should I release source code to fix bug

I have a bug in my application that I'm building. I asked a question on S.O. and one of the users asked me to post or send all the code to him so he could look at it. I totally understand the ...
12
votes
6answers
692 views

Debugging: understanding details on why certain fixes worked?

When debugging, I sometimes find that I make some changes and I am not 100% sure why those changes correct some bug in the program. Is it essential to understand every single detail about why some ...
12
votes
8answers
1k views

What was the worst piece of code you fixed that you are proud of? [closed]

I have had a few that I am proud of and some of them were written by myself few years ago. It doesn't have to be necessarily buggy, just bad code.
12
votes
3answers
554 views

Bugs that can be avoided with coding standards

I am looking for statistics (or estimations) that backup the claim that coding standards help reduce bugs. Hard-numbers would be nice, although I haven't had much look finding any. I've even looked ...
11
votes
12answers
655 views

Off-shore bug fixing

If a prospective employer told you they "outsourced bug fixing because developers hate fixing bugs", What would you think? What might be your concerns?
11
votes
1answer
803 views

Should I write a test to prove that deleting code fixes a bug?

Occasionally I'll run into the situation where fixing a bug requires that I delete a section of code. The TDD purist would (I assume) advocate writing a failing test, deleting the code, then watching ...
11
votes
6answers
896 views

How do I approach fixing an unreproducible/randomly occurring bug?

We have a multilingual website in which a bug was discovered some days ago. It was displaying other language data in other language and also the mixture of data like English language was selected but ...
10
votes
13answers
944 views

What is the biggest trouble developers encounter when debugging?

I just wonder what is the biggest trouble developers encounter when debugging? I can think of three answers but I am not sure whether they are correct: Trouble in locating the bug? But most of the ...
10
votes
12answers
1k views

Should QA find reproducible scenarios?

Sometimes my QA team reports bugs, but neither I or them have any idea on how to reproduce them. This leads to very long and frustrating debugging sessions which sometimes do not even yield results. ...
10
votes
11answers
1k views

Turn away a bug if no reproducible test case exists? [duplicate]

If the customer has problems which are not reproducible because of complexity of actions they took and can't remember step by step, then coders are missing a test case. Indeed, this issue is ...
10
votes
9answers
403 views

What mistakes do your users make, and how can you update your application to handle them?

In fact this question is about cautions to be taken to enhance quality user experience and reduce avoidable support calls.
10
votes
3answers
587 views

Git: Fixing a bug affecting two branches

I'm basing my Git repo on A successful Git branching model and was wondering what happens if you have this situation: Say I'm developing on two feature branches A and B, and B requires code from A. ...
10
votes
3answers
591 views

More code = more bugs

Back in college I remember a professor teaching the class one of the laws of computer science. He said something like "More code equals more bugs" and gave it a name (The Law Of Whatchamacallit) and ...
8
votes
5answers
324 views

What are some possible interactions between multiple bugs? [closed]

I was thinking about how two bugs could interact with one another. The only relationship I can think of is one bug being the cause of another. What other interactions between multiple defects are ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What does the term day-one-bug mean? [closed]

I came across this term recently in a mail chain. Google tells me there is a term zero-day bug and that Microsoft and Adobe are the frontrunners :) Is there such a term as day one bug? What might ...
8
votes
5answers
414 views

Steps to maintain a good bug database

Maintaining bug database is an important for every project. I am used to store the followings at bug database Issue date time Who is assigned to Whether it has been solved or not If solved then, ...
8
votes
6answers
572 views

Is it normal for a software developer to have lots of issues after product went live? [closed]

In recent months, our product (which went live probably 9 months ago) experience an increase in the number of users using it. We faced lots of queries, problems, and complaints from users. Sadly, it ...
8
votes
2answers
472 views

How to “neutralize” those who write bad code on the team?

I always loved this article on JoelOnSoftware called "Getting Things Done When You're Only a Grunt" . I could especially relate when I was newbie (and still feel like I will ALWAYS be one). About #4, ...