Tracking Bugs

Here’s how our support team and programmers work together to track and squash bugs.

Isolated Bugs

Most of the situations we see on a daily basis are one-off problems. Maybe a Doc is acting weird because of some HTML that was pasted into it. Or a file isn’t downloading because something went wrong with the upload.

For these customer emails, we assign it to an “on call” folder in Help Scout (the app we use to email with customers). We also leave a note with any info that might be helpful for our support programmers. From there, they’ll take a look, fix up whatever the problem was, and assign it back to the rep. The customer support rep then happily lets the customer know that the problem has been solved.

Bigger Bugs

Sometimes we’ll find bugs and issues that are beyond the scope of the on-call programming team. Those are usually bugs that affect many customers rather than just one user or computer. When that happens, that bug is added as a to-do inside Basecamp.

We have a project to keep track of them. That project usually only has one tool enabled — the To-dos list — but we occasionally enable others:

The first stop for every new bug is the “Triage” list. This gives us an easy place to quickly add new bugs as to-dos.

The to-do name is kept short for easy reference. The notes field contains any details, screenshots, links back to the case, and anything else that might be helpful.

From the “Triage” list, the bug is then either assigned or grabbed by a programmer who sees one they want to fix. Here’s a full thread where the bug was added as a to-do, discussed, and then fixed.

From the support side, Chase was notified throughout the process and could keep our customer in the loop. Once Scott fixed things up, he checked off the to-do as complete. Then Chase emailed the customer with the good news.