5 Steps to Resolving Any Bug as a Software Engineer

Tomasz Dobrowolski
6 min readJan 22, 2023

Do you take actionable steps with your problem-solving?

If not, you could spare yourself the stress by following a set-out process for resolving bugs.

Here is my five-step process for resolving any bug.

Step 1. Identify the problem and gather information

It sounds simple, but defining the problem helps you focus on the urgency and the area of the issue.

During this time, gather as much information to understand the bug.

Your goal during this step is to have enough information to:

  • Know the set of users impacted by the bug
  • Understand the urgency of the problem
  • Replicate the issue

Seek this information out by asking questions to anyone involved with the product.

Your best bet is by asking the people who made you aware of the issue. Or if you have no one to ask, do the digging yourself.

Find out the urgency

If this bug is in production, you need to understand the priority to take appropriate action.

You can scope the urgency by looking at:

  • The impact of the bug on the business
  • The number of users impacted by the bug

Understanding the impact of the bug on the business

How much money is this bug costing the business?

This is the most important aspect when judging the severity of a bug. This impact can occur directly and indirectly.

Directly:

  • This prevents the business from receiving money

The business is actively losing money as this bug is preventing sales from going through.

Indirectly:

  • Causes reputational damage

The bug may not prevent sales, but it can reduce the company’s reputation, which impacts future sales.

For example, if the website has slowed down significantly, users may still be able to use the website to purchase goods. But in the future, they may look…

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Tomasz Dobrowolski

I break down Software Engineering and Tech concepts | Backend Engineer 🐘