Whether it’s a website or a mobile app, every type of software will deal with its fair share of bugs. Software bugs are inevitable. Why? Because software is made by humans, and humans are hardly perfect. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to reduce both the number and severity of bugs you encounter.
Here, we go through everything you need to know about software bugs so that you can ensure your software runs as smoothly as possible.
What is a software bug?
Before we get into the details, it’s a good idea to define what a software bug actually is. A software bug is any kind of flaw or error in the code that causes the software to perform unexpectedly. In most cases, bugs are caused by human error, whether that error is from the source code or the design. This is why bugs are almost impossible to eliminate, as there is no way to eliminate human error.
Types of software bugs
The types of software bugs out in the world are almost limitless. A variety of things can go wrong with your software, and as we said, some are unavoidable. However, some bugs are more common than others. For instance, browser incompatibility is a common bug that pops up for websites.
Since there are so many types of software bugs out there, it would be cumbersome to list them all here. However, we have listed some of the most common bugs you may run into:
- Functional Errors: This is where the software doesn’t function as it should, such as having unclickable buttons.
- Performance Defects: If your software is unusually slow, then this is a performance defect.
- Usability Defects: These defects make your software inconvenient or even impossible to use.
- Compatibility Defects: When your software can’t function on a specific browser or device, this is a compatibility defect.
- Security Defects: Self-explanatory, these make your software unsecure and open to hacking.
- Syntax Errors: These are bugs that occur in the source code, where there are missing or incorrect characters.
- Logic Errors: Another coding error, logic errors occur when there is a problem in the flow of your software.
What causes software bugs?
Almost all software bugs are caused by human error. These bugs are nearly impossible to eliminate, but they can be curtailed if you know what might be causing the human errors in the first place. Usually, it has something to do with your work process.
- Miscommunication: Many bugs are a result of simply not being able to communicate clearly with your team. One person thinks one thing, another thinks another. Make sure everyone is on the same page by keeping a team email or group chat going and always sharing updates.
- Unrealistic Deadlines: Are your developers short on time? Then chances are they’ll be rushing through things and not checking their work.
- Faulty Third-Party Tools: Sometimes a good workman can blame his tools. If there is a bug you can’t figure out, check to see if any plug-ins, external APIs, or other third-party tools are to blame.
- Pesticide Paradox: The pesticide paradox occurs when the more you run a particular test, the more the bugs become immune to those tests. When testing your software, change things up in order to catch all bugs.
How to prevent and fix bugs
Even if you address all the causes of bugs, there’s always a chance a few will slip through the cracks. This is inevitable. The key to preventing these bugs from ruining your software is to catch them early and fix them. The only way to do this is through software testing. By deploying a variety of tests through every stage of your production process, you can find and fix bugs early.
However, testing is not finished once you release your software. You will likely have updates to implement later on. Even if you don’t plan on changing your software, there will be updates to browsers, devices, and other items that your software runs on that will alter how your software functions. As such, you’ll need to test continually to ensure these changes do not break your software.
Simply testing your software is not enough. There needs to be a proper testing plan in place to ensure that bugs are found and dealt with as soon as possible. To ensure this, make sure you have a quality testing team by your side. Beta Breakers has tested a wide variety of software for over 30 years. Contact us today to learn more about our services.