How to Choose the Right Bug Tracking Tool


Bug tracking is an important part of the quality assurance process. By detecting software bugs you can make sure your software works as intended without any unwanted setbacks.

In this blog post, we will look at why using a bug tracking tool is important and how you should go about choosing the right bug tracking tool for your software testing needs. But first, let’s find out how the term “bug” came to be.

Software testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence! — Edsger Dijkstra

What is a software bug?

Software bug is a term used to describe a flaw in a component or system that produces an incorrect result and fails to perform its required function. The term “bug” was first used by computer scientist Grace Hopper in the Harvard Mark II electromechanical computer’s log in 1947 when the operators traced an error to a moth trapped in a relay which was carefully removed and taped to the log book.

An actual bug in a computer log, found in the relays of a computer in 1947
An actual bug in a computer log found in the relays of a computer in 1947. Image source: Wikimedia Commons.

Why is bug tracking important?

Bug tracking is important for delivering quality products by organizing the issues found based on the severity of the bug. Specifically, bug tracking improves the testing workflow by monitoring, prioritizing, and tracking the status of the defects. This not only helps QA engineers keep track of bugs and allows developers to fix defects more efficiently, but it also improves the communication between quality assurance and development teams. In turn, this helps ensure all the bugs that have been found are fixed.  

Why use a bug tracking tool?

A bug tracking tool is used to easily manage and keep track of the bugs, technical glitches, and other issues found in the software. It helps to gather useful analytics and insights to improve team efficiency and collaboration.

Additionally, using a bug tracking tool can significantly improve the quality of the product because it provides a repository of bugs as well as an opportunity to track and estimate the defect-related tasks accordingly. Essentially, it improves the overall communication in the team and provides a workflow for defect monitoring, reporting, and traceability.

How to choose the right bug tracking tool

When choosing the right bug tracking tool, you should take the following points into consideration:

1. Functionality

Think about the features that the bug tracking tool provides and whether it meets the needs of your team.

  • Does it allow the creation of custom templates for bug reporting that can be followed when creating new defects?
  • What is the size limit of the file that can be uploaded and which file types are supported (images, documents, recordings, etc.)?
  • Does it allow prioritizing of the reported bugs?
  • Does it allow tracking of the bugs based on the state?
  • Does it have the option to assign a team member to each reported bug?
  • Does it have support for different types of methodologies and frameworks to better represent the project visually in order to increase project transparency?
  • Does it support notifications so the team can follow up on the reported bugs?
  • Does it support comments under the reported bug?
  • Does it support tagging of team members in the comments/description section?
  • Does it allow the reported bugs to be linked to a specific project?
  • Does it allow the export of the reported bugs/features?

2. Interface

The next thing you should consider when choosing a bug tracking tool is the interface. You want to make sure the interface is simple, clean, and most importantly, easy to use.

  • Is the bug tracking tool easy to use and easy to understand?
  • Does it provide quick access to the features?
  • Are tool functionalities easy to learn?
  • Does it support image/recording preview?
  • Does it allow role-based access permissions?
  • Does it provide an option to generate visual reports?

3. Integration

Before choosing a bug tracking tool, be sure to check whether it can be integrated with other software you are using.

  • Does it allow integration with third party applications?

For example, can it be integrated with test management tools, project management tools, and cloud storage applications, like GoogleDrive and DropBox?

4. Collaboration

Finally, you want to think about the suitability of the bug tracking tool when it comes to collaboration among teams and members.

  • Does the bug tracking tool allow effective collaboration between the team members where the responsible stakeholders, product owners, managers and the development team members can follow the progress and state of the reported bugs?

Different bug tracking tools

The following table is a comparison between a few bug tracking tools that we selected based on our experience and the information available on the respective websites.

Different bug tracking tools

If you are looking for an open-source bug tracking tool, we recommend MantisBT. Open-source tools are frameworks and applications that are free for use and their source code is available online.

The choice is yours

When choosing a bug tracking tool for your project, it is in your best interest to be aware of the differences between each of them and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Your choice should be based on how you plan on using the tool, the size of your team, and complexity of the project.

Every project is different and the team sizes differ between projects, but hopefully this blog post will make it easier for you to choose the best bug tracking tool.

Do you need help finding, tracking, and reporting bugs? We can help. Get in touch and let’s discuss your project.

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