I think they should.

The less selfish you are about your bug list, the more bugs you’ll get logged, and the more info you’ll have about the state of the AUT. In my team, the devs, and the business people who write the requirements, all log bugs. This is an Agile team so we have the luxury of continuous business testing.

How are their bug reports? Terrible. The dev’s bug reports are usually too low level for me to understand. The business people’s bug reports usually lack repro steps, include multiple problems, and rarely describe what they expected. That being said, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

As poorly as said bug reports may be written, they are tremendously valuable to me. Although a brief face-to-face is sometimes necessary to decipher the bug description, some of these bugs identify serious problems I have missed. Others give me ideas for tests (from a dev perspective or a business perspective). And it’s more convenient to retrieve these from the Bug list rather than rooting through email. Finally, I think most team members enjoy the ability to log bugs and even consider it a privilege.

I have some non-testers on my team who have logged more bugs than some of the testers on my team. Scary, huh? The point is, if a non-tester wants to log bugs, don’t feel threatened by it. Embrace it!

I’ll talk more specifically about how I handle bugs written by non-testers in a future post.


  1. Mark Crowther said...

    Certainly agree. In my experience the bugs written by non-testers can be invaluable.

    Sure you need to decipher them and some are plain wrong. But even those are an insight into how usable the software is(n't), what may need to be added to a help file or even reveal a whole new raft of tests that could be run.

  2. Michele Smith said...


    If someone outside the department considers some behavior of the program to be a bug, even if they can’t explain it in detail, I would prefer they submit it. And I have no problem with other people doing so. Ultimately the customer is who I am out to please. One less bug in the field is one less bug they have to deal with.

  3. Anonymous said...

    I think this also provides the testers with the chance to learn from the bugs that they've missed.

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