Who says bug fixing is boring?

What's this? A spreadsheet full of bug descriptions from a client. Ah man... This isn't going to be fun.

Sound familiar? Lets face it.. Bug fixing isn't the most fun thing to do in the world. In fact some people find it to be a very tedious task. Yes, it can be, but normally only when faced with a mountain of bugs to fix. On the other hand, any task can become very daunting when there’s a lot to be done. 

So, what’s the answer to making bug fixing more appealing? This is a question I asked myself when coming up with ideas for Bug Purge. The solution was simple... make it so quick and easy for developers and testers to capture bugs that they don't mind doing it regularly as part of their daily routine. This way they will always stay on top of things.

Another problem I wanted to address was that all too familiar dilemma that a lot of developers (including myself) face; coming across a bug when in the middle of doing something completely unrelated. Its very easy to get sidetracked in this situation... "I may as well fix it while I’m here"... but this can end up causing a hefty amount of scope creep without even realising. If there isn't a record of that bug being fixed how is your boss going to know what you've been doing?

I've experienced this problem myself in the past. I would be working on something agreed with my project manager, come across a bug here and there (taking 15 minutes to fix this bug and another 15 minutes to fix that bug) only to find that I'd used up 1 hour of my allocated time on unrelated work... Oops!! Managers aren't generally impressed by this I can tell you... "Why didn't it work in the first place" springs to mind. Watch out for scope creep!

Anyway, back to my original point...You see how easy it is to get sidetracked!... You're working on something critical to the project. It's complicated, but you're in "The Zone", but then BANG! Out of the blue you find a bug. You can't ignore it. It might be really difficult to replicate in the future, but you're in danger of being sidetracked if you attempt to fix it now. You start falling out of "The Zone". What do you do?... Take a screenshot and save it somewhere where you won't forget it, and then get back in "The Zone".

This is what Bug Purge is all about. It's designed to be your bug tracking companion... Hang on a minute. Thats a great tagline. I'll use that! Sidetracked again, sorry. Bug Purge is a place you can paste your screenshots and add a couple of notes to them to point out where a issues occur. They're then tracked and ready for you, or someone else to come back to later. 

So, what about making bug fixing fun... Is it possible? At One Absolute we're looking into ways to make it more engaging when using Bug Purge. Ever heard of Gamification? Fancy a geeky game of bug fixing? Could it be possible to make bug fixing fun by having a scoring system, pitting developers against one another - Who fixed the most bugs... who can fix the most complex bug... Maybe thats going a little too far. Bug fixing isn't meant to be fun, is it?