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What is a defect?

Amaaz Ahmad

In software engineering, a defect is a bug or an error that causes the software to behave in an unwanted or unexpected way. It occurs when a developer makes a mistake while building that software.

The types of defects

A defect can be categorized into the following types:

  • Wrong: A defect is wrong when the software’s functionality is not implemented as per the required specifications.
  • Missing: A defect is missing when a functionality that is stated in the requirements is not implemented.
  • Extra: A defect is extra when a functionality is implemented that is not stated in the set of requirements. The consumer might appreciate this.
  • Error: An error occurs when someone from the development team makes a mistake. It might be a misunderstanding of the requirements or an error in the code.
  • Bug: A bug is the result of an error in the code. In most cases, logical errors lead to bugs.
  • Failure: Failure is when the software fails to provide the required functionality to the end-user.

How is a defect reported?

The testing or the quality assurance team reports the bugs to the development team via a detailed document called a bug report.

A bug report is a detailed document that contains the following details:

  • Defect ID: A unique identification number for that specific defect.
  • Description: A detailed description of the bug, e.g., the defect type, the buggy module, etc.
  • Software version: The version of the software which is buggy.
  • Steps: The steps required to reproduce the defect. This helps the development team trace the source of the bug.
  • Date raised: The date when the defect was reported.
  • Reported by: The name or unique identification of the person who reported the bug. It could be a consumer or someone from the testing team.
  • Reference Material: Any material or documents that might help the development team fix the defect. This is optional.
  • Current status: The current status of the defect or the current stage from the lifecycle of the defect.
  • Fixed by: The name or unique identification of the developer who fixed the defect.
  • Date closed: The date when the defect was fixed and marked closed.
  • Severity: The severity or the impact of the defect on the overall functioning of the software. Severity could be critical, major, or minor.
  • Priority: The urgency in fixing the defect. The urgency could be high, medium, or low.

How is a defect fixed?

For a defect to be fixed, it goes through an entire lifecycle. This lifecycle has the following stages:

  • Defect identified
  • Assigned
  • Open
  • Rejected
  • Deferred
  • Fixed
  • Test
  • Reopen
  • Verify
  • Close




Amaaz Ahmad
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