Preventing bugs can be rather tricky, due in no small part to the fact that they can arise from all sorts of issues. Sometimes bugs come from improper testing, sometimes from messy code, and sometimes they just come from a lack of communication between the people developing the software.
Here, we’ll take a look at the kinds of bugs, how they pop up, and what can be done to nip the problem in the bud.
Bugs that arise from faulty implementation in spite of accurate specification documentation
Regression is when software works nicely at first, and then something pops up later down the road. These types of bugs are common in the industry, so it’s not abnormal to run into regression bugs.
Test-driven development is a common practice of going backwards from “code, test, debug, and repeat”, in the sense that the development team first makes failing tests that define and test exactly what the software should be and should do.
Once these tests are set up, then the actual code, the stuff that passes, is written. This code is modified until it passes all tests, which means it’s doing what the devs actually want it to do.
Test-driven development is good for cutting down on implementation bugs, particularly regression, as it’s all about ensuring that the code is stable throughout the entire development process.
Bugs that arise from the specifications document, the definition of what the software is and what it should do, being improperly handled
Whether or not a QA company is involved in the development process, communication is a key part of any development and testing process. Failure to communicate can lead to missing sections, incorrect specifications, and the like, which, in turn, will lead to bugs.
Preventing communication problems
Behavior-driven development mixes up test-driven development and domain-driven design, simplifying the development process by sticking to one domain-specific language.
Simply put, it makes it so that the development process starts from the broadest expertise levels then goes deeper from there, forcing the team to communicate and make things understandable for everyone involved. This, in turn, means that everyone is on the ball, and communicates better, reducing the odds of issues from communication failure.
Absent specification bugs
Bugs that arise from the software being asked to do something that wasn’t specified at all in the specifications; something that was considered outside the scope of the development
Software development doesn’t just happen magically: planning is involved, lots of it.
Naturally, this means that planning properly is a key part of any development process. Hiccups during this part leads to issues like improper specifications, badly-written code, missing or inadequate requirements, and the like.
During the planning process, it’s not needed that the team be able to account for every possible eventuality. The idea behind the plan is to have a procedure that outlines how anyone on the team, whether they’re the devs, the testers, or the QA company that the team might’ve brought in, to outline and document a potential problem before it escalates.
This makes it easier for the team to foresee, and talk about anything that they see as a potential problem, allowing the team as a whole to nip the issues in the bud instead of having to rely on a handful of people to deal with things.