Code Curiosity Prying for knowledge

Software makes people angry

Desk Flip

Software always has bugs. Bugs make people angry. Therefore, software makes people angry.

When bitten by a software bug, it can give you the impression that the developer maliciously designed the system against you. As a developer, I can assure you that they almost certainly did not. They probably feel bad about the whole situation. The unfortunate part is that if you are the only one impacted, it may not be worth the developer's time to fix it. They still feel bad though.

Closed, will not fix.

People can get angry when their bug report is not fixed. Even if the issue has limped along for months or years with no progress. Because it sits there open, they have hope. Closing the ticket takes that hope away, which usually results in a confrontation. Anyone would want to know why.

It is important to recognize that creating a bug report does not fix the problem. That sounds obvious, but sometimes we forget it. We think the issue is open, the description is adequate and the ticket was even assigned to a developer. At that point, it feels like the issue is already half solved. It is possible to feel like a lot of work is getting done when no bugs are being fixed. If we know what all the issues are, we can track their progress and it is just a matter of time before everything is perfect!

Trap

Software always has bugs.

Creating a bug report will always be easier than fixing the problem. It becomes addictive to start creating issues for everything instead of fixing problems. It becomes someones job to manage the list of issues, they report on the bug trend. Before long the project has years worth of work that is just bugs.

Trust that good caring developers will harvest all the moderate to high impact bugs requiring a reasonable amount of work. Expect that those worth while bugs will be fixed in a timely fashion.

The problem is what to do with the rest? Remember the hope element on the issue? Developers may not be all alpha bro and willing to tell people the thing they care very deeply about is super uninteresting, unimportant or unnecessary. The dev will ignore the issue and over time, this process distills out a lot of low value issues. That is not to say these are worthless bugs. Someone cared enough to create the issue, the problem is no one cared enough to fix it.

Milk

Your bug list should be treated like an evolving organic substance. Give it an expiry date.

Close any inactive issue on the expiry date (say 6 months). At the very least it removes noise from the project. Best case scenario, closing the issue sparks a new discussion and gets someone interested in fixing the problem.