Once you’ve hit the coding phase of the software development life cycle, it’s time to keep on top of bugs. There is much debate on the cost of fixing bugs early in the software development life cycle versus later, after implementation and deployment. Software developers can make an argument that fixing bugs early is the best strategy.
Fixing bug is time-consuming no matter the stage of development, but bugs that hang around have a definite cost. Late bug fixing can cause big problems down the road. Here’s why.
1. Saving Time
One of the biggest reasons to track down and fix bugs early is because little problems can turn into bigger, more time-consuming ones down the road. For example, one way a small bug can cause bigger problems is by hiding another bug. Often, finding a bug and fixing it can reveal yet another, more complicated bug that must be resolved.
Bugs fixed early can take less developer time. Fresh off the coding, a developer can easier think through to the source of the bug, rather than having to remember dependent code written months before that could be affecting the product. In this case, time definitely equals money.
2. The More Bugs, The Harder the Fix
Bugs tend to multiply, so if they aren’t fixed as they come along, there will soon be many more. When there are multiple bugs, it’s harder to track the cause of the problem. Say you get a report about a bug in the system. If there’s one bug, it would be easy to track down that bug and fix it, but if there are many bugs, the process can take a lot longer because you must sort through other errors.
3. Fixing Bug Early Sets The Tone
Fixing bugs sets a tone for the development team about your commitment to quality code. In addition, known bugs can lead to frustration as the team performs repetitive internal workarounds for small issues.
4. A Buggy Product Puts Your Reputation on the Line
If you present your product to the end user without ensuring that there are as few errors as possible, your reputation can be at stake. Without proper exceptions handling, customers won’t experience normal program execution, which can be frustrating and take away from the overall experience. Word can travel quickly about buggy software, meaning decreased sales or less confidence in your future products.
Error monitoring, capturing bugs, searching logs, and clearing out bugs can take time, leaving you with upset users. That’s why it is a good idea to employ software that can track bugs and help you fix bugs before they cause problems on the user end.
Airbrake can help. It monitors detailed stack traces, dupe detection, deploy tracking, and logging. It also provides a dashboard to track your exceptions, which means that errors are fixed in just seconds.