The Coding Monkey

Friday, June 03, 2005

I'm Not Trying to Be a Jerk

Honestly... I'm really not... though it may seem that way to some. One of my projects is in defect fixing mode. That of course means we get to wade through tester's descriptions of problems, and figure out what's causing them... or sometimes figure out if there is a problem at all. I'm a stickler for reproduction steps. Some may say I'm a jerk about it. If I don't see real steps to reproduce a defect, with example files that demostrate it where appropriate... I immediately reply asking for them. I'm not being a jerk... it's just experience.

This morning was a great example. I get a defect saying that every file that has a *blank* causes a problem when he does *blank*. I don't bother to check... I immediately respond with "Can you please provide an example file?" Of course the tester doesn't send me the file that caused the problem for him... he sends a list of files that have *blank* criteria in it that he says causes the problem. Of course there was the indignant tone in his email saying it's so easy to reproduce, try any one of these hundred. Fine.. that's not what I asked for, but I'll go through your list. I went through the first 6 in the list and couldn't reproduce the defect. I reply back. "Ummm... try the files that also have *blank*." Of course he still didn't send me the actual file that had caused him the problem. Fine. I go through the first one and still couldn't reproduce it. I was going to respond back after that one... but for grins I tried one more on the list and finally got the defect to reproduce.

As it turns out, the defect only reproduced under very specific circumstances... contrary to the original defect which made it sound huge, broad, and awful. It was a simple fix, but took 10 times longer to find simply because he never gave steps to reproduce. That's why I'm picky. Had he given me the actual file that he used to cause the problem, I would have been able to turn around that defect in 5 minutes. Sometimes testers just piss me off.


  • My boss has a great story like this.

    He says that a contractor once approached him with a stack of drawings and said "these drawings are all ****ed up!" My boss replied by saying "Well, let's just toss them in the trash and head back to the hotel for a quick dip and a stiff drink. Because if they're that bad, there's no point in us standing around here."

    This lead to immediate backpedaling, and the contractor pointed to the handful of typos that were giving him gas.

    If only I were that quick on my feet half the time...

    By Blogger Aaron, at October 02, 2005 9:46 PM  

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