Stupid Question 154: Bug, issue or defect? What is the correct term?
Bug, issue or defect?
“At Autonomy, the word ‘bug’ is banned. No developer is allowed to use it. The tracking system does not have that word. Bugs are referred to as ‘Issues’. This is so that the customer cannot claim that things should be fixed during the warranty period since they aren’t recognized as bugs.” I got this comment on my last question , and it got me thinking.
I must get my words right, sometimes I say issue, but most of the time I say bug. I’ve never said defect. But what is the correct word, and is there a difference between the three words?
Wikipedia: “A software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways”
Wikipedia: “In computing, the term issue is a unit of work to accomplish an improvement in a system. An issue could be a bug, a requested feature, task, missing documentation, and so forth. The word “issue” should not be misunderstood as just a synonym for “problem,” as in other English usage.”
Issues are divided into four general severity levels, high, medium, low or cosmetic.
a : an imperfection that impairs worth or utility : shortcoming b : an imperfection (as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice
[Latin defectus] : a lack of something necessary for completeness, adequacy, or perfection : deficiency
I’ve heard that defect and bug are sometimes used interchangeable, but from the the two definitions above I reckon there seems to be a difference, some more searching led me to this quite good blog post on quality assurance:Defects vs. Bugs; Are They Different?. But the more I look around, the more confused I get. There seems to be a disagreement whether or not defect and bug is the same thing. And same goes for issue and bug: StackOverflow discussion: What’s the difference between a bug tracking and an issue tracking system?
But this is how I understand it:
An issue can be a bug or a defect. The term issue is often used with clients to indicate that the problem not necessarily is faulty code. A defect can also be a bug, but for me a defect is a piece of code that works- but doesn’t do what it is expected to do. A bug is more mysterious, I’m not quite sure what is going on and thus I refer to is as an insect as the only thing I know is that it is something annoying and unwelcome.
So, tell, do I have this right?
- I’m hoping for some testers to contribute here :)
Last modified on 2013-02-19