Marie has done an awesome job writing up the most complete “how to file a good bug report” I’ve ever seen on paper: http://blogs.msdn.com/productfeedback/archive/2004/09/27/235003.aspx
Two things I really want to emphasize:
- Good bug titles – we have lots of bugs in the database. Lots. It is important for the bug title to include words that someone else might use to look up the bug. A good rule of thumb that I use is before I even start to write up the bug report, I search for the bug. Well, we all should first search for the bug before filing, but what I do a little differently is record what words I used to try to query the bug with. I make sure I use those words somewhere in the bug title.
- Include the least amount of repro steps as possible – Double-check whether you really have to create a project to repro the bug. Or does the bug repro with any project opened or just a specific language? The fewer the steps, the better information we can provide the developer with. And the developer can always use the extra time to fix more bugs. After a while, those extra few steps really start to add up.