August 15, 2023

A bug, in software testing, refers to a whole gamut of issues and problems with software.

A bug, in software testing, refers to a whole gamut of issues and problems with software.

A bug, in software testing, refers to a whole gamut of issues and problems with software. These problems can cause the software to stop working as it was intended. Bugs in software can cover a wide variety of types and degrees of seriousness. Small bugs can involve minor problems with functionality and the UI while major bugs can cause the software to break or crash. The whole aim of software testing is to find and fix bugs by putting the software through its paces. Bugs are also often called defects.

What is a Bug?

During the development of software, certain errors or defects can be introduced to the code that causes things to malfunction. These are called bugs and cause unexpected results, ranging from UI elements rendering incorrectly to full crashes. As an integral part of software testing, bugs need to be identified, tracked, and fixed to ensure that the software becomes release-ready and functions as intended when it reaches the end user.

Bugs can go beyond breaking the functionality of the software at the points of their existence. In fact, one bug can cause a ripple effect in separate areas of the software. Errors further down the execution chain can, therefore, sometimes be fixed by sorting out a bug that came much earlier. This is something to keep in mind during bug fixing, where anticipation must be employed to understand the possible effects of specific bugs further down the execution chain.

Bugs are usually classified according to their severity and impact on the development and testing process. Here is a template of bug severity based on impact.

  • Low - A cosmetic defect with minimal impact. An immediate workaround can be applied in isolation and the rest of the process can continue as usual.
  • Medium - A defect which has localized impact but can be sorted with a workaround. One or a few testing streams might need to be stopped and restarted after the fix, but the rest commences as usual.
  • High – A major defect that severely impacts the functionality and features of the software. This usually requires one or more software features to be disabled during testing. An immediate fix is usually the best solution as workarounds can give rise to more problems down the line.
  • Severe – This usually causes the entire software to stop working in a meaningful way. There are no workarounds, and the software is unusable until the bug is properly fixed, and the software is retested.

Common Causes

During the software development life cycle, there are quite a few events that might result in a bug of some kind. More often than not, they happen due to certain common causes. Here are a few.

  • Most often, bugs are caused by errors in the programming or the code. This can be due to human error or a lack of consistency in the coding standards for different parts of the software. This can be resolved to a significant degree through thorough code review and then through the process of unit testing.
  • A lack of time can often lead to the creation of bugs. Projects that involve rushed and strict deadlines can sometimes lead to hastened coding, which is a scenario ripe for bugs.
  • Sometimes, bugs are caused due to ambiguities in the requirements. When requirements are unclear across the development team, bugs can get introduced. Detailed reviews and static testing techniques can be employed to avoid this.

How to Find and Solve Bugs?

Every bug that is found goes through a complete life cycle till it is closed. During testing, a number of techniques can be deployed to find and understand bugs. Here are a few steps that can help.

  • First, it’s critical to develop a thorough understanding of the software or software modules that you are testing. This improves the chance of finding bugs.
  • To start off, you need exhaustive high-quality test cases and test data. Focus on functional test cases which target the potential vulnerabilities or breaking points of the software. Also, thorough test data that covers the test conditions can be crucial.
  • For best results, tests can be repeated inside different test environments for consistent results.
  • Use the right testing and bug tracking platform. A resource such as Functionize Architect, with its Ai-driven framework and seamless integrations, can really speed up your workflow.
  • It’s a salient idea to go ahead with some standard test cases. These are targeted towards known vulnerabilities and can help you eliminate possibilities.
  • Finally, it’s crucial to keep a mindset that encourages breaking the application. Going down this path, even subtle bugs can come to the front.

The bug life cycle usually involves bugs being classified as “new” when found and “open” when accepted by the development team. They are then labeled “fixed” when the developers sort out the bug and “closed” when it passes subsequent testing.

The Main Goal

With this info, it should become simpler to understand, identify, and deal with bugs in your software development through rigorous testing.

Bugs are often trickier to identify with test automation. This is because automated tests frequently break and lead to false positives, tests that fail incorrectly. Functionize helps you find and fix bugs faster. Test results are easy to understand with step-by-step screenshots and troubleshooting logs. They can be quickly shared to colleagues via link and exported/emailed reports. And, with the Functionize Jira integration, it’s easy to stay on top of developers’ progress. You can quickly filter and run tests as soon as the affected bugs are ready for verification.

About the author

author photo: Tamas Cser

Tamas Cser


Tamas Cser is the founder, CTO, and Chief Evangelist at Functionize, the leading provider of AI-powered test automation. With over 15 years in the software industry, he launched Functionize after experiencing the painstaking bottlenecks with software testing at his previous consulting company. Tamas is a former child violin prodigy turned AI-powered software testing guru. He grew up under a communist regime in Hungary, and after studying the violin at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, toured the world playing violin. He was bitten by the tech bug and decided to shift his talents to coding, eventually starting a consulting company before Functionize. Tamas and his family live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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