4 minute read
How do founders choose a bug tracker for their start-ups

Founding a start-up and coding is complicated enough to keep founders and the start-up’s teams busy. With myriad things on their plates to worry about, start-ups can do without having to deal with either an inadequate or an overly unwieldy and complicated bug tracker. 

A bug tracking tool is necessary for a start-up developing tech products/services – be it software, apps, website design, etc. Customers expect bug-free products for a smooth user experience. Quality Assurance (QA) is key to providing users with a superior experience, and a bug tracking tool in this context becomes an inescapable necessity for QA. 

At the early stage of the start-ups, founders consider the following capabilities in candidate bug tracking tools before settling on their final choice of a tracker. 

Does the bug tracker enable the start-up team? 

A good bug tracking tool should empower the development team at every step of the bug lifecycle. The tool should facilitate the team’s logging of concise and accurate bug reports. Accurate bug reports help developers in reproducing the bugs and fixing them quickly. The 

hallmark of a good bug report is that it should not require any further communication or follow-up questions. The time, thus saved, helps testers uncover more bugs and gives the developers more time to fix bugs. 

Describing a bug accurately via text is a Sisyphean undertaking. Text descriptions are inherently prone to wrong interpretations and often provide an incomplete understanding – causing delays in fixing bugs. 

A bug tracking tool that enables capturing the tester’s screen or recording a video of the tester reproducing bugs would eliminate the possibility of incomplete or improper understanding. A screenshot of each step in a bug will make the bug report infinitely more accurate and understandable. The video recording feature will be beneficial for complex bugs that require many steps to reproduce. For such bugs, textual descriptions or even screenshots can prove inadequate. 

Such capabilities in the tracking tool will mitigate the problems of poor bug descriptions, speed up the bug fixing process, and shorten the overall product development lifecycle. 

Does it make the team fast? 

The better bug tracking tools come with features that facilitate raising alerts, enable collaboration, allow chats, and send notifications. A good tracking tool enhances transparency and accountability within the team by letting the entire team view the bug page. This enables managers to allocate specific resources for specific bugs and monitor

progress in real-time—bug tracers by increasing transparency and facilitating easy communication speed up the work of start-up teams. 

Does the bug tracker help the team focus? 

Most bug tracking tools are complex in design and are feature-rich. Depending on the complexity of the tool, there is a definite learning curve that is required to be able to use the tool effectively. Developers and testers on the project team need to learn to use key features of the tracking tool relevant to the tasks assigned to them. The tracking tool should not be so complex that learning the bug tracker’s functions and uses distracts engineers and testers from their core responsibilities. An over-emphasis on providing inputs for the tracking tool tends to shift the focus of the project’s developers and testers towards the requirement of inputting data in the tool and away from core activities. 

A good bug tracking tool assists and complements project work instead of distracting from execution. The efficient logging and tracking of bugs do not just help in fixing bugs – it speeds up the software development lifecycle. 

A good bug tracker helps the software development get moving by enabling focus on effective reporting via easy-to-read dashboards, problem analysis, accelerated resolution, and greater team collaboration. 

Does it ease the onboarding of new team members? 

Most start-ups typically experience high employee turnover. Start-up founders, when picking a bug tracking tool, also consider if the use of the tool is easy to learn. Ease of use helps with the onboarding of new developers and testers. This factor assumes greater significance if team members who join have limited prior experience in software development. 

How affordable is the tracking tool? 

Most of the Start-up teams have to face fund shortages frequently. Therefore, the available funds need to be used prudently for product development, building the team, marketing/sales, etc. However, while assessing affordability, founders also need to consider tracking tools that help in the management with prioritization, and effective resource allocation for fixing bugs enables time and cost savings. Hence, the cost of the tool needs to be weighed against its long-term benefit as a resource management system. 

How scalable is the tracker to the next levels of growth? 

For any issue tracking tool to be helpful, it should allow as many tickets as possible to be raised. Also, the tool should enable ticket management with the least friction. Depending on the nature of the product development and the number of issues that need attention – the size and number of teams working on resolving them will vary. A start-up team should look for a tracking tool that can handle a high volume of issues and scale as the business and team size grow.

Can it be integrated with other tools that the start-ups want to use? 

During product development, fixing bugs and resolving issues will necessitate integration with different tools that possess functions not available in the tracker tool used by the start-up. While selecting the tracking tool, the start-up should check if the tool offers seamless integration with other tools to extend the tracking tool’s functionality. 

Is the tracker growing with the start-up’s product? 

Every start-up’s product is different. The features set of the required tracking tool will also be different for every start-up/product. The bug tracking tool for a start-up should match the business’s specific needs. The tracker might not have the entire features set of a generic enterprise tracking solution, but to begin with, it should necessarily be equipped with the essential features required for your start-up’s product(s). As the product evolves, the requirement of features will also change. The tracking tool should be flexible enough to provide upgrades/system updates to match the product’s growth. 

Balanced Thoughts 

A bug tracking tool is an essential element of product development. For a start-up embarking on building a profitable business – investing thought, time, and effort in choosing the right tracking tool is critical for weaving in the required efficiencies right at the business’s inception. 

A robust tool like Bugasura can have an outsized impact on the quality of the product delivered by the start-ups while also helping increase the team’s productivity, aid in fixing bugs efficiently, and reduce development costs.