Should you log a bug without knowing the expected results?
Someone chuckled at my “?” for the expected results, during a bug review meeting. The bug (like many of my bugs) looked like this:
1. do something
2. do something else
3. do something else
Expected Results: ?
Actual Results: an unhandled error is thrown
Good testers determine scenarios that nobody thought of. That is one skill that makes us good testers. Some time ago, I didn’t let myself log bugs until I tracked down the proper oracles and determined the expected results; a practice that sounds good…until you try it. Unfortunately, the oracles are never quick to respond. Often they pose questions to the users, which open additional discussions, meetings, etc…until the tester forgets the details of their wonderful test.
So these days, if I encounter a bug and I don’t know the expected results, I log the bug immediately and let someone else worry about expected results…if they even care. It’s not because I’m too lazy to seek out my oracles. It’s because my time is better spent logging more bugs! When in doubt, remember, the tester’s primary job is to provide information about the AUT. It’s not the responsibility of the tester to determine expected results. If the tester identifies a scenario that will crash the AUT, they should log the bug now.