Don’t underestimate the value of software bugs


Finding software bugs

[Tweet “Bugs are about making things concrete, specific, and known.”]

Some people don’t like software bugs, but I think they’re awesome.

After all, how else can you tell when or if your software works? Without a bug report, it might just be “sort of” working. Maybe it works the way you are using it now but it is going to come crashing down as soon as you veer slightly off the standard code path. You know your software is fragile, but maybe it is WAY more fragile than you ever realized.

Shine a light on the problem

But once you have a bug, then you’ve got an anchor. You know – concretely – that a certain thing does not work.

And around that, you can build a foundation of all the things that you know DO work.

The software bug keeps you centered. It tells you about all the things in your system that are true, and it tells you about all the things in your system that are not true.

How a bug does it’s magic

Does this seem a little idealist? Vaguely touch-feely?

Well, bugs are touch-feely. They are… personal. They ask questions, and force you to ask new questions, and they lead you to answers.

Bugs are about making things concrete, specific, and known. These are not idealist wishes, and you’ll find that vagueness quickly disappears as your list of recorded bugs grows.

Without bugs, no questions get asked (and so, no answers are ever discovered).

Appreciate your software bugs!

The next time your support tech or your progammer comes to you and announces the most awful bug you’ve ever heard of, give thanks – that person just opened an opportunity for you that you couldn’t have paid for even if you wanted to. Embrace the bug, embrace the value.

Celebrate the software bugs you find. You’ll be glad you did, when they pay you with great rewards.