“I don’t care about your bug reports. Only the software matters,” said author and Google’s engineering director James Whittaker at the controversial STARWEST keynote. Whittaker’s presentation challenged a number of beliefs that we’ve held strongly to in traditional software testing, including the idea that users won’t accept poor quality. “Users know software sucks. They don’t care about quality. They don’t want perfect software. They want us to fix the bugs,” said Whittaker, claiming that users are better than testers at testing. This point of view is completely contrary to what Caper Jones and Olivier Bonsignour, say in their book, The Economics of Software Quality. In Quality metrics: Defect tracking throughout the software lifecycle, we looked at why some experts feel that tracking defects is mandatory for high-quality code, and in turn, customer satisfaction. In this follow-up piece, we will look at the other side of the story, the argument against tracking defects.
1. Only the software matters
2. Many defects never get fixed
3. Defect tracking is a poor way to communicate
4. Defect metrics can be misleading