If your company creates software, there’s probably no shortage of the issues they must deal with in order to turn a profit. Creating programs is never an easy task and usually involves a considerable and intricate infrastructure. Translating that program into code involves even more potential pitfalls. Between these two elements, is it any wonder that so many software companies end up with a number of bugs to deal with before they can release their product? Usually, these bugs equal major setbacks that can even threaten the business’ bottom line. This is why every software company out there should be using bug tracker software to monitor their process and catch problems before they become catastrophes.
Just about every software manufacturing process is going to involve some bugs. These are defects that will keep the programs from functioning the way it was intended. Obviously, this can be a significant problem when you get the entire program done and find out it’s not performing correctly. It can also take a lot of work just to find these bugs. Many of its main operations might operate perfectly and it’s only later that you find out some minor menu option has a bug. Worst still, you could release the software only to learn from customers that bugs are keeping it from working as you had advertised.
Every software team these days needs bug tracking. In fact, having it built into the team’s architecture is the hallmark of one that will perform well.
The major component of the software is a database where known bugs are reported and explained. Then, as the bug is addressed, the database will record the steps being taken to resolve it.
However, the bug tracker software itself doesn’t actually resolve or really address the problem. It’s just a centralized platform where they can be reported. Otherwise, you’re relying on email or word-of-mouth to ensure bugs get tracked during the course of programming and coding. History has shown us this isn’t a very good method.
Obviously, the major goal of bug tracker software is recording where issues exist in the development of a program. Along with that, the software then seeks to help facilitate resolving those issues by allowing users to record steps they’ve taken to do so.
In many ways, too, this software should help record the development process of software. When the program is finally finished, managers should be able to go back through the record and see what occurred along the way. If a bug was missed or otherwise not resolved, they should be able to go find where the problem occurred and analyze what went wrong so they can prevent it from happening again.
Again, the biggest thing to look for is the database. You want one that will allow your company to customize it as much as they like to make tracking bugs something that makes sense for your unique needs. For example, you may want to limit access in terms of who can report bugs. Most companies want to make sure that responsibility for bugs can be assigned and re-assigned as necessary.
The database should also give you plenty of options for recording the bug. This would include when the bug was reported, its behavior, how severe the problem is, how it can be reproduced, who reported it, who’s in charge of resolving it and who’s working on it. Generally, the more you’re allowed to record here, the better.
Furthermore, you’ll be best served by a database that you can access remotely. A web-based hosted database will save you a lot of headaches and safeguard you from any issues with crashing.
Connectivity should be a major element you consider as well. A lot of software companies have team members all over the world. You want to make it easy for them to communicate with one another, especially if it’s in regards to resolving a bug. This connectivity also helps to enforce accountability, because every member knows their progress is being monitored.
Implementation and usability are huge too. Just like with any software, you want to be able to go from purchased to installed in as little time as possible. The more of a learning curve involved with it, the longer you have to wait before you can start creating software that is bug-free.
Finally, look for platforms that get updated regularly and will allow you to get your version updated for free. You never want something as important as bug tracker software to become outdated.
If your company creates software, you need to do everything you can to manufacture a product that delivers what customers are looking for. There’s more competition than ever these days, meaning if you fall short of this goal even once, your business could be in real trouble. Fortunately, with the right bug tracker software, you’ll have a lot less to worry about.
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