Pawel Kopec

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A BugHunt event – a good way to disinfect your app

January the 24th, 2020 will stay present in our memories as the day we were all fighting the greatest and most terrifying monsters every software developer fears of – BUGS. Oh no, I’m not speaking of those tiny little insects bugging you (!) during summer, but real-life tragedies of misplaced labels, unusable features, app crashes and data loss. In those difficult times of misery and despair, we decided to join our forces in this Synergy Codes event. For one day, each and every Synergizer could step into testers’ shoes. That became a great opportunity to socialize and gain better insights on the currently running projects in our company. But first things first…

What is a BugHunt?

To put it in a nutshell, the BugHunt is a competition, during which the contestants compete by reporting various bugs and failures. They can be anything: from user-interface and layout issues to actions leading to severe crashes, what leaves the user frustrated and unhappy with the amount of work wasted. 

When the idea for such an event sparkled within our heads, we decided to give it the main theme to make it recognizable, memorable and fun. The choice was obvious as many of us are big fans of Netflix’s Witcher and a book series by A. Sapkowski. Not to forget, the term ‘BugHunt’ perfectly corresponded to the Wild Hunt appearing in the books and CDProject’s Witcher videogame.

The application which was tested during our BugHunt was a system used for process visualization, developed for one of the largest manufacturers in the automotive industry. Everybody, except the members of the development team, was invited to take part in the event. It began with the presentation of the application, its functionalities and business requirements. Later on, the main part kicked off – everybody could test their luck and skills trying to spot any suspicious and unusual behaviours. Not only did the number of bugs reported matters, but also the damage they caused in the application.

What is also worth mentioning, is that during the hunt the witchers could fill their bellies with ridiculous amounts of delicious pizza! After the event, the development team sat down and analyzed all the bugs reported at the event. Following strict verification, the winners have been chosen based on the team’s internal score count. 

To conclude…

Was the BugHunt a success? Did it provide any value to the development team/company/client?
In my opinion, the BugHunt was a valuable event which brought value to everyone, including our stakeholders. Every employee at SynergyCodes gained insights on the application and for one day could play with it. Having knowledge of other apps being developed in the company can be beneficial in case of internal moves within it. It shows the employees the potential the company has to offer to an employee to develop his/her skills by changing projects. 
When it comes to the benefits for the app itself, they also proved to be valuable. Other BugHunters spotted bugs the team missed or neglected while being focused on current functionalities to be delivered. Many bugs were UI-related which is a clear message that not only the fact that the app ‘works’ matter but also the ‘look and feel’ does.

Any tips for future BugHunts? 

The most important thing to remember is to precisely and thoroughly present the application to the testers. It’s a hard task given short amount of time. Nonetheless, without clarifying what should work the way it works many of the bugs reported can be false alarms. As an example, I can mention the undo/redo functionality which switches views in the app, which may seem strange taking into account that other applications don’t behave this way. Surprisingly, this was a requirement from the client, which was counterintuitive to many of our BugHunters. To sum up, give the testers as much knowledge and understanding of the business and tech of your app so that they can use it the way it is intended to be used.

And one last tip: Have fun!