Tackling test failures through intelligent bug triage

Programming errors, miscommunication, software complexity, inadequate testing, code changes, and reliance on external dependencies all contribute to software bugs, which, despite rigorous testing and reviews, remain nearly inevitable due to the inherent complexities of software development.

To tackle defects, teams deploy bug triage to systematically prioritize, categorize, and allocate resources for efficient and effective management of software issues, ensuring timely resolution and improved software quality. 

Bug triage is a manual effort, which is a challenge with a firehose of failures. Launchable is helping teams intelligently tackle issue triage for faster releases without compromising quality.

What is Bug Triage?

Software bug triage is a critical process in software development and quality assurance that involves categorizing, prioritizing, and assigning severity levels to reported software bugs or issues. 

The goal of bug triage is to efficiently manage and address the reported issues based on their severity and impact on the software's functionality, user experience, and overall quality. This process helps development teams allocate their resources effectively and address the most critical issues first, improving the software's reliability and user satisfaction.

Standard Software Bug Triage Process 

Bug triage is crucial for maintaining software quality and ensuring that critical issues are addressed in a timely manner. It involves a combination of technical expertise, domain knowledge, and collaboration within the development team to deliver a stable and reliable software product.

Bug triage typically involves the following elements


Gathering Relevant Context

Bug reports are collected from various sources, such as users, testers, automated testing tools, and monitoring systems. These reports often include details about the issue, steps to reproduce it, the environment in which it occurred, and any relevant attachments.


Bug Categorization

The collected bug reports are categorized based on various criteria, such as the affected module, feature, component, or functionality. Categorization helps in grouping similar issues together and making it easier to manage and prioritize them.


Initial Bug Assessment

The triage team reviews each bug report to understand its severity, impact, and relevance. They might perform some initial testing or investigation to reproduce the issue and verify its validity. This helps in avoiding the inclusion of duplicate, non-reproducible, or irrelevant issues in the triage process.


Priority and Severity

Bug severity is based on potential harm, with severe issues like crashes receiving higher severity. Priority considers user impact, data loss, security, and business, categorized as "Critical" to "Low."



After prioritization, the bugs are assigned to specific developers or development teams responsible for the relevant module or component. This helps streamline the resolution process and ensures that the right expertise is applied to each issue.


Developer Investigation and Resolution

Developers investigate the assigned bugs, aiming to reproduce the issue and understand its root cause.

Fixes or improvements are implemented to resolve the bugs. Collaborate with testers to ensure that the proposed fixes address the reported issues.

Manual Bug Triage Limitations

When done efficiently, software bug triage can cut the amount of time spent re-testing and improve developer experience. However, manual bug triage faces challenges that affect your team’s overall effectiveness and efficiency.

Filtering through Bugs

  • High Test Failure Volume: Managing numerous test failures is complex, obscuring urgent problems. Non-critical failures generate noise that masks crucial issues.

  • Resource Drain: Tackling flaky tests and minor issues consumes time and resources, diverting attention from crucial software enhancements.

  • Slow Triage and Overlooked Bugs: Noise disrupts bug triage, inducing delays and risking crucial bug oversight, thus extending software delivery schedules.

Analyzing the Problem

  • Overwhelming Error Logs: Large volumes of raw, intricate test error logs are overwhelming and unclear. Teams struggle to comprehend the nature of issues quickly. Now, AI can offer assistance to simplify and help interpret this data.

  • Delayed Problem Resolution: Error logs take a higher cognitive load and result in slower issue resolution, delaying software updates and harming project timelines and customer satisfaction.

  • Recurring Issues: Repetitive problem-solving diverts attention from new issues, hindering release speed and stressing team members needlessly.

Raising Awareness

  • Poor Collaboration Across Devs and QA: Conversations during the bug triaging lifecycle happen ad-hoc, through Slack, emails, and processes like excel sheets. Without a system that raises awareness of software issues across the team, collaboration and coordination suffer, leading to inefficiencies in the testing and resolution process.

  • Polling for Status Updates: Team members are forced into continuous software monitoring, consuming time and diverting focus from essential tasks.

  • Delayed Issue Notification: When the correct team members aren't quickly informed about bugs, it causes delays in fixing problems. This can make software updates slower and might affect customer satisfaction.

Minimize Bug Triage Burnout with Launchable's Intelligent Failure Diagnostics

Failing tests involve more than spotting errors; distinguishing critical ones amid numerous logs and understanding their history demands QA engineers' thorough analysis. Launchable’s Intelligent Test Failure Diagnostics solves traditional bug triage bottlenecks by finding and focusing on what truly matters.

Launchable is your AI co-pilot that helps triage, classify, and manage test failures, speeding up your bug triage process. Intelligent Test Failure Diagnostics offers a comprehensive view on test sessions, whether you aim to group related failures, identify recurring problems, or monitor test behaviors.

Enhance efficiency and speed up delivery by reducing bug triage time spent searching extensive error logs, manually correlating related bugs, and collaborating on test failures.


Faster Problem-Solving

Transforming raw error logs into succinct insights, quickly identify the root cause of software issues and formulate solutions. Reduce the time spent in the bug classification phase and accelerate your overall software delivery timeline.


Historical Bug Analysis

Easily determine if an issue has surfaced before, providing crucial context for its resolution. Prioritize new issues when under release pressure, and increase your efficiency and effectiveness.


AI-Enhanced Insights

Leverage generative AI to provide a succinct summarization of software's error logs to let developers identify the crux of issues.