Short Story: Developers, do your homeworkFor today’s iDevBlogADay post I want to tell you guys a rather short but true story that reflects some of our duties as developers for any particular platform. I came to this conclussions after installing beta software ( under NDA ) for the platform we are developing for in Gando Games.
Because of an NDA agreement I will reffer to this product as “Pudding“
Ok, so this week I noticed that the latest version of Pudding (a free application provided by Pudding Inc. which is key to make my everyday work happen), which was labeled as GM seed became available from the official Pudding website. Inmediatly I thought with excitement, “Ok after all those beta versions of Pudding, finally we have a GM seed, hopefully all my problems with the old beta versions are history by now!”.
So I went ahead, downloaded the Pudding GM and installed it. The whole process took about two hours of my time. After that, I find myself eager to fire up Pudin and start working with my Pudding document (made with the older Pudding version). Exitement fades away in less than 10 seconds, Pudding gets awfully slow when working with my old project, it’s actually freezing up y whole machine (which should be powerful enough).
I’m now very worried, my work depends on Pudding to work correctly with my old document. First I think I’m the one who’s doing something wrong and go ahead and re-read Pudding’s on-line docmentaton… surprise surprise… I’m doing everything fine. What I have encountered is a bug, a bug in GM seed which makes it impossible to work with my project.
Wrath… Anger… i start complaining “How is it possible! , the same bug I encountered in pudin beta 3, 4 and 5 is still present in GM. I can’t believe QA didn’t catch this! !@#%^&$^”
By then, I start reading some very popular Pudding on-line forums (pro-pudding.com, pudding-gurus.com and pudding-god.com) and IRC. A lot of people seems to be experiencing issues with the GM, even quite similar ones.
After a few minutes talking with some Pudding lovers over IRC, I quickly figured out why did this happen… (and it was in part my mistake)
After noticing my mistake and feeling more than guilty, I went to #pudding-love in IRC and asked:
“Did anyone report their problems in the official Pudding forums & Bug Tracker?” ( I knew I hadn’t so I wanted to check out who did)
I wasn’t very surprised to see that only about 15% of the people in the IRC channel had done their homework. I asked the same the forums, obtaining similar answers.
Ok, I was blaming Pudding Inc. and their QA team, without even having done my homework… shame on me (and on the rest of Pudding users). So I quickly made my bug reports as detailed as possible, got my issue numbers. Now I feel better.
This short story may sound familiar to a lot of you guys, there’s some really complex software projects out there, and improving them can be quite difficult, even for big companies!. I just couldn’t believe how many people I saw complaining in unofficial forums (instead of doing so in the official forums where “Pudding” devs hang around), same applies to IRC, etc.
If you are using software wich is key for your everyday work, you better care for it. If the company behind it appreciates your bug reports, then do your homework and report the bugs you find! (this assertion is even more true if you are using free/open source software). How is it possible to blame the QA team for a bug to pass undetected if the issue is not reported in the fist place.
I learned my lesson, and I won’t forget to do my homework again, I encourage you guys to do the exact same thing the next time you find a bug or some strange behavior in your software of choice.
Until next Friday!
Note: If you are paying to be able to “forget about this bugs” I think not reporting them could be valid, but still you should do it if you want them to be addressed faster.
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