A week of digging through bugs

This last week has been very busy for me and others on the team. We've been digging into our bug database and ensuring we have all data correct in each bug we are tracking.

Bugs that are completely controlled by OneNote are relatively straightforward for tracking. An example would be (my favorite OneNote only feature to write about) something with napkin math. We wrote this and own it ourselves and do not interact with any other teams with it. The data here we have been tracking mostly concerns when and where we intend to fix each reported bug, and also to which client (the desktop client, the Win8 store client, etc…) the bug applies. Finally, we mark each bug that we updated this week.

Bugs that are dependent on partner teams get more complicated very quickly. An example here would be supposing Excel intends to add a new chart format to their application. Since OneNote can import Excel spreadsheets, we may need to do work on our end to accommodate their new chart format. Now suppose we want to do our work in August, but Excel has scheduled their work for October. Already we have conflicting timelines, so that needs to be accounted for. Suppose that this new addition also requires new video support that is not scheduled to be ready until December - again, we have several teams tracking work items on three different schedules and we need to carefully track when all this will be done.

Next up is assessing when test can get started. For the new Excel format example, it may be very possible for OneNote to write code based on an interface Excel publishes, and we can add unit and components tests before Excel gets started. On the other end of the spectrum, Excel may not even work on the interface until October so we may only get a start on test planning.

The final step is the rather tedious and boring task of setting all the different fields correctly in the database, and verifying that all our partner teams understand what each of these fields mean to us. And we also have to track the data on partner team bugs that may affect us, and understand what subtle meanings each one of their tags might mean to us.

With all these moving parts, it is possible for cracks in the process to appear, so the bulk of my time this week has been looking for and patching those cracks.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (2)

  1. Anu Nevalainen says:

    Hi John, I just found your blog. People always tell me that I'm a natural software tester because I find a lot of strange bugs. This is one of the main reasons I love OneNote so much: it has never crashed! I don't remember if I've found a single erroneous function ever and it's just amazing. So many thanks for your work is in order I guess! I just wrote two blog posts (http://www.cloudriven.fi/…/nuts-about-microsoft-onenote and http://www.cloudriven.fi/…/how-should-you-use-onenote) about OneNote trying to make it more known and get people to use it. Now I'm mad to myself that I forgot to mention that one of the best features is without a doubt the fact that I can't find any errors in OneNote. It "works as a train's toilet", as we say here in Finland. Many thanks!

  2. John says:

    Thanks for the kind words.  Never thought I would hear a compliment that compares software to a toilet 🙂

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