The secret life of bugs

We as programmers find bugs not only in the pizza we left next to our computer but also in the code that we write. It is very common to find them messing our hard work and sometimes they can make our life a living hell, they can be simple, like missing a semicolon in stupid java, or something even more complex like trying to get the hash of a null object, whatever the bug is they are so annoying. In this study name: The secret life of bugs, it was studied the different patterns that programmers use to find and resolve bugs in the code.

They had some questions they wanted to answer: how is the process of fixing bugs coordinated in software teams? do electronic traces of interaction provide a good enough picture of coordination, or is nonpersistent knowledge? With these questions in mind they define some cases and began the experiment. In the end, they studied 10 bugs and interviewed 26 people.

The result of this experiment was that the way most of the people found bugs was with manual testing, up to 60%, that is a lot! And the most common bug was a code bug, which is the one that I complain the most. There are also the errors and omissions involved but what’s important is the patterns that they identified.


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