Decoding Bug Management: A Conversation with Total Synergy’s Head of Product Danny Beaton

In the world of software development, the term "bug" is often thrown around, but what does it truly entail? To shed light on this, we sat down with Danny Beaton, our Head of Product at Total Synergy, who walked us through the nuances of identifying, managing, and resolving bugs in their software products.

Q: Could you start by explaining what exactly a bug is?

Danny: Absolutely. A bug is essentially when something in the software doesn’t work as intended. For instance, if a user clicks the “Save” button and the data isn’t saved, that’s a bug. It’s important to distinguish bugs from improvements or new features, which are not bugs but enhancements to make something work differently or better.

Q: How should someone go about raising a bug?

Danny: The first step in our process is crucial – raising the bug with our customer support team. When you encounter a bug, it’s important to collect as much information as possible, including detailed steps on how to replicate the issue. This initial step is key for us to understand and proceed to the next stages of resolution.

Q: Once a bug is raised, what happens next?

Danny: After a bug is raised, we move to the assessment phase. Here, we evaluate the severity of the bug, from critical to trivial, and its potential reach, whether it affects a single user or multiple organisations. We also consider possible workarounds and which workflows are impacted. This helps us understand the full implication of the bug.

Q: How do you decide when to fix a bug?

Danny: That’s where scheduling comes in, the third step. Based on the assessment, we prioritise the bug fix, balancing its importance against other issues and ensuring we address it in a timely manner. This prioritisation is crucial for effective bug management and maintaining product quality.

Q: What does the development process for fixing a bug look like?

Danny: Moving into development, our team works diligently to resolve the issue. This involves following the replication steps, debugging, and fixing the problem with our development team, followed by rigorous testing. We test the fix across multiple environments and scenarios  to ensure the bug is completely resolved.

Q: Finally, how are bugs released after they’re fixed?

Danny: Once a bug is fixed and thoroughly tested, we prepare for its release. Our releases are planned monthly, including all fully tested bugs and issues. It’s important to note that we finalise the contents of a release well in advance,  ensuring that each release is well-organised and comprehensive to maintain product quality.

Q: Any closing thoughts on the bug management process?

Danny: Bug management is an intricate part of software development, requiring a systematic approach to ensure software reliability and user satisfaction. It’s a collaborative effort between users who report bugs and our team that works tirelessly to resolve them. Ultimately, it’s about ensuring the best possible experience for our users.

This conversation not only illuminates the complexities of bug management but also highlights the proactive steps taken by Total Synergy to maintain and improve our platform, ensuring they meet the high standards expected by users.


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