TechBookReport logo

Meet Joe Bloggs

Episode 12: Bug Reports

Looking at the list of bug reports in front of me makes me despair of the human race. Again. What I've got are the reports that tech support have forwarded to my development team 'to fix'. Reading these reports it's clear that it's the users that need fixing… And after they've been fixed maybe we can start on the tech support people …

Software: Expenses System.
Problem Report: The screens on the expenses logging system aren't bright enough.
Tech Support Response: Please be more specific. Which screens are you talking about?
Investigation: Spoke to user. He's complaining because he can't use the software in the dark. He likes to file his expenses last thing at night, just after he's had a shower. Because he's naked he can't put the lights on in case the neighbours call the police again. If the screens were brighter he wouldn't need the lights on, his laptop would provide all the light he'd need.
Action: This is a reasonable enhancement request. Pass to developers for further action.

Software: Order Processing.
Problem Report: System crashed, causing database corruption.
Tech Support Response: Database corruption caused major downtime for other users.
Investigation: System errored because the database server was pushed out of the window during a disagreement in the server support team. Software should be more robust and fail gracefully.
Action: Please improve error trapping.

Software: Order Processing.
Problem Report: Software corrupts transaction records.
Tech Support Response: Please give an example so that we can reproduce the problem.
Investigation: User opened new order. Entered all the fields. Typed 'wanker' into customer comment box. Hit the process button. Realised that the comment would be printed with the invoice. Tried to delete the order but it had gone into processing. Tried to hack into the back end database and failed. Spoke to his mate John who works in the computer shop down his street. Learned about database update queries. Tried to perform an update on the live system. Copied 'wanker' to three hundred other orders in processing. Made to write an apology to three hundred customers and then resigned job. Now on medication.
Action: Please add a filter so that 'wanker' isn't accepted as valid input.

Software: Timesheet System
Problem Report: Please correct spelling mistake
Tech Support Response: Which one?
Investigation: There's an error on the data entry page. The label that should say 'Shift Hours' says 'Shit Hours'. This new user was entering the times he was visiting the toilet. His wages for the month were badly effected and he's not very happy. Having looked at the data he's also got some kind of bowel condition that needs looking at.
Action: Please correct typo.

Software: Installation document for Expenses System
Problem Report: Unclear instructions caused embarrassment
Tech Support Response: Please send ALL the details (and accompanying graphics if available).
Investigation: New employee taken to pub on first day to meet rest of team. Got back mid afternoon and had to install the expenses system. User is slightly dyslexic and also wasn't used to drinking alcohol. Misread 'Open Files' as 'Open Flies'. Did as directed. Misread 'Insert Disk' as something else. Punched in face by outraged colleagues. Escorted from the building by security.
Action: Please make the documentation clearer.

It's a depressing list, and so far there's only one that I'm going to put forward for action

Software: Payroll system
Problem Report: Unable to raise salary
Tech Support Response: What?? Please explain the problem.
Investigation: User suggests enhancing the payroll application with a button to increase salary.
Action: Tech support strongly agree with enhancement request. Please implement as a matter of priority.

Who Is Joe Bloggs? Read other episodes here

Return to home page

Contents copyright of Pan Pantziarka. If you like it link it, don't lift it. No copying for commercial use allowed. Site © 1999 - 2004.