23 Jan 2023


How to Prioritize Bugs vs. Feature Requests

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Academic level: College

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Bug tracking refers to the process of reporting, managing, and capturing bugs that are prevalent in software. Bugs are errors or exceptions and they prevent impede a software from operating optimally. The goal of bug tracking is to ensure that the software is of high quality using bug capturing and task management systems. Since software are created by humans, there are high chances that there will be some errors and shortcomings ( Kalani, 2005) . If these errors are not corrected and identified on time, they can damage the reputation of an organization or cause large financial losses ( Gadupudi, 2008) . Looking at bugs from a development standpoint, they grow in complexity as a software project progress. Therefore, it is important for programmers to continuously test for bugs to ensure that they are fixed before they cause significant damage. 

In order to understand the bug tracking process and its significance, it is imperative to determine the difference between a bug and a feature. A bug is the failure by a program to conform to norms and expectations. On the other hand, a feature is a functionality unit that is either a change request or a requirement that is requested. A bug is a problem that is experienced once a program is developed ( Gadupudi, 2008) . A feature involves things which have not been requested. For example, a program may fail to meet as customer’s unstated requirements. Such a situation is unfair for the development team since they cannot meet a client’s expectations effectively if they are not stated. 

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In a bug tracking process, a company or individual might decide to use in house or third party tools. However, in this case, a third party bug tracking took known as Airbrake will be used. The tool is versatile and can be used during software development or testing. The tool allows a software developer or engineer to capture bugs and notifies them immediately of the problem. It ties the bug to the code in question allowing fast and efficient backtrace. It also categorizes errors easily allowing the team to solve the issue with urgency. A software developer can easily capture portions of the programs and share them with other experts for consultations. Even though the development team can use task management systems to understand the issues and tasks in a project, the mentioned bug capturing tool can be used to report errors as they occur during the development stage ( Gadupudi, 2008) . The tracker categorizes the bug, allowing the development team to create a solution and fix the identified issues. However, the tracking tool should be streamlined to ensure that resources and time are not wasted in the debugging process. When an error occurs, some of the crucial information which is collected includes application parameters, bowser version, OS and environment ( Kalani, 2005) . Furthermore, the tracking tools enable a developer to do an easy backtrace and determine when and how the bug occurred. It is ideal if bugs are fixed before the final product reaches consumers. Therefore, the best bug tracking tool should have a simple communication interface that gives automated notifications to ensure that the team stays up to date and on schedule during a project. 

Since Airbrake has advanced de-duping algorithms, it filters out irrelevant information and provides only the error messages. The tester will be in charge of using the tracking tool and determine if any errors are present. The tester will be carrying out regular analysis of the program to ensure that ensuing problems are addressed. The project manage will monitor the system consistently and follow up with the tester and other members of the team to ensure that the proposed fixes are implemented on time. The project manager will follow up with the requestor when it is necessary and make decisions concerning which actions should be taken in the event a bug is discovered. However, it is impossible for the project manager to work alone and he or she would require the input and cooperation of both the tester and the development team to ensure that the project runs smoothly. 

Bugs can be tracked using a unique tracking number. The number enables the development team to perform a backtrace and fix the problem from its root cause. Bug reports enable ranking of the suitable assignees to ensure that there are better outcomes in the debugging process ( Gadupudi, 2008) . It is important for the development team to identify bugs individually so that they can be debugged effectively. 

In conclusion, software bugs are an unfortunate reality in software development and use. Since humans are prone to error, software are not flawless. However, bugs can be traced and identified, allowing the development team to correct the flaws. Bug tracking refers to the process of reporting, managing, and capturing bugs that are prevalent in software. It is ideal to identify bugs early in the development phase to prevent serious consequences such as loss of revenue, data breaches, and damaged reputation for companies. Therefore, companies should invest in bug tracking to ensure that they operate optimally and safely. 


Gadupudi, S. (2008).  Bug tracking for improving software reliability

Kalani, P. L. (2005).  Issue/bug tracking system

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). How to Prioritize Bugs vs. Feature Requests .


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