5.4 Bug Triage

A new bug just showed up in your issue tracker, but you've got a pile of other bugs on your plate and two piles of features your boss wants implemented last week. Time to triage, although if your project's got a lot of incoming bugs, you may want to triage in daily batches. Remember though, that, when it comes to bugs, things never end with Triage (see chapter cha:When-things-break).

bugs are like gnats. They're annoying but no-one is going to throw a fit if they hang around for a while. If you can fix it quickly do it now, otherwise keep moving.
bugs are going to annoy your users pretty quickly. Do it as soon as possible but don't feel you need to immediately stop work on everything else to do it.
bugs are ``mission critical''. If that code breaks your app is screwed. Your customers will start brandishing hatchets or abandon your product like the Titanic. If one of your investors sees it your C Levels are going to get an earful and you don't want to deal with that. Figure out who knows this part of the app best, assign it to them, walk over to their desk (or pick up the phone if that's not an option), tell them you're sorry but you don't care what they're working on at the moment because they're working on this now and Pizza and Coffee are on the way.
These are the best. Either you've already fixed it, it's no longer something that can crop up, or there's nothing you can do about it. Move on.

K. Rhodes 2007-05-18