Devs have a special ability to talk testers out of bugs by claiming said bugs cannot be fixed. It goes something like this…

Tester: This UI control doesn’t do what I expect.
Dev: It’s not a bug. It’s a technology constraint. It is not possible to make it do what you expect.

My current AUT uses a third party .Net grid control called “ComponentOne” and I often hear the following:

Dev: It’s not OUR bug. It’s a ComponentOne bug.

I’m fine with these dev responses and even grateful for the info. Where it becomes a problem is when I get soft and don’t log the bug. Criteria for a bug should not include whether we believe it can be fixed or not. Log it! There is so much value in even non-fixable bugs!

Our bug list should capture what is known about the quality of the AUT. If we know the UI widget does not work the way we want it to, let’s document that. Who knows, if these non-fixable UI widget bugs keep getting logged, maybe we can justify using a different UI widget. But a more likely result, from my experience, is that devs will do everything in their power to fix everything on that bug list. And they will suddenly become more creative and write a hack for the technology constraint that earlier looked impossible to overcome.

So don’t be fooled like the storm troopers in front of the Mos Eisley Cantina. If you start hearing “These are not the bugs you’re looking for”, snap out of it!


  1. Alex said...

    This trap is all to easy to fall into when you compound the importance of "numbers." When you're so worried about the bug count, that you start looking for ways not to add them, you know you've got a problem. Perhaps that's an idea for another post.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I agree, but I also think it's a form of blackmail for those devs who hate to have bugs left in their queues, their should be a special "These bugs exist because C1 support is terrible and they won't fix their bugs" queue in my opinion. Other reputable component vendors don't need their own queue because they actually fix their issues most of the time.

  3. Anonymous said...

    So true. I caught on to these Jedi mind tricks early on in my testing career. After a while I had some Jedi mind tricks of my own as this scene was getting too repetitive:

    "It's still a bug. Whether you want to fix it or not, when, and in what priority is a different story. I'll open a ticket, do with it what you wish afterward."

    BTW, loving your blog! Write some more.

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