“Showstopper”. This means the show cannot go on. I guess the full metaphor is something like… the star of the show has lost her voice! The show must be stopped until her understudy has been located…or in our case, until the bug is fixed.
I’ve always hated the label “Showstopper”. I tried to convince my previous manager not to use it. I half-seriously argued it was a theater metaphor and theater metaphors don’t get used for other bug priorities. Well, if some insist upon using this theater metaphor, perhaps we should incorporate other theater metaphors into software testing and development.
- Maybe we should classify our second priority bugs as “Technical Difficulties” (i.e., the light board blew a fuse but the stage crew determines they can use the house lights to keep the performance going…a workaround.)
- The third priority bugs would be called “Missed Lines” (i.e., an actor forgot a line but the other actors easily improvise and no critical story essentials are missing.)
- And finally, “Mediocre Set Design” (i.e., the set is barebones and unconvincing but with a little imagination, the audience can still enjoy the story.)
- Instead of the User Acceptance Test phase we should call it “Dress Rehearsal”.
- “Opening Night” is the night we deploy a new release to production.
- When our users open Task Manager to force quit our app, they are “Cutting Out At Intermission”.
- When the tester gets a perpetual hour-glass, the devs can say the feature got “Stage Fright”.
- We can make our open bug list public and call it “Breaking the fourth wall”.
- As CM kicks off the build, we’ll remind them to “Break a Leg”.
- If our users ask for more features, we’ll bow and consider it a “Standing Ovation”.
- And our dev who is always throwing in those extra features nobody asked for, they can be the team “Prima Donna” or “Divo”.
- And finally, if our load testing was done poorly, we may end up with long lines of people waiting to use theater bathrooms. Some of these queues may get quite long. Eventually, people may wait so long they time out….er…"Pee Their Pants”.