16 Dec 2002 cm   » (Journeyer)

Next on the list of Defect Tracking Patterns is the bug tracking tool and usage as a kind of history-keeping system. At the moment it's one of the weaker patterns -- comments welcome.

Document Work

A bug report has a life and grows with changes. Bug state is not static, and tricky defects can take several iterations of work to find and fix properly. In the context of this ongoing work, knowing what changed and why, and what worked or didn't, help maintain a sense of history to the code.


Document all work on a problem in the bug tracking tool. Use the description and comments field to make note of important issues and facts. Attach files with error output, screenshots, or even snippets of code patches to document what was done and why. Records of what was worked on and resolved represent a knowledge base.

The related idea of micro-decision awareness asks only that when making a decision, however small, you are aware of the fact. Recording that decision in the bug tracking software preserves that decision.

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