Friday, July 14, 2017


So this week I have been involved in some software testing. And the usual route of an Excel spreadsheet had been employed to manage faults, bugs, or changes. I hate managing software faults with a spreadsheet. It normally ends in a mess, with multiple versions, poorly formatted, emailed here there, and everywhere.

To avoid this and not having access to a real software bug-tracking tool like fogbugz I quickly set up something in Trello.

Trello is brilliant and I have many boards for various jobs on the go at one time. It is a simple free-to-use tool for managing simple tasks and workflows.


I set up 6 lists flowing from left to right. New bugs can be added by the team or by the customer. They can be entered directly as a new card or via email by links provided. The email to the board facility is brilliant and it will create a new card automatically.

I hear you say but how can I refer to a card or bug when discussing it with the team. Do I need to refer to the bug name every time? Nope. In Google Chrome, there is an extension that adds unique card numbers automatically. So in discussions, you can refer to bug #27. The extension also has the benefit of adding a number of cards to a list. So at a glance, you can see how many bugs are raised or how many are ready for a test.

The bug tracker board can be accessed by anyone who has access to the team. When connected to the team they can then take control of individual bugs and they can be assigned a bug. So at a glance, you can see John is working on bug #27, and Tom is testing #32. When John has completed the fix for bug #27 he can move the bug to the ready for test list and assign the bug to Tom. When Tom tests the bug and it passes the test Tom can move it to Done. If it is not fixed he can move it back to in progress and assign it back to John and add a comment as to why it did not pass the test.

Colors can be added to each bug indicating the criticality of the fault. So at a glance, you quickly see the red for critical and can concentrate on these first.

Bugs can include attachments, so you can take a screenshot of a fault and quickly add it to the bug to help with the resolution. You can add multiple items to a bug, so if there are a number of similar faults these can be grouped into one bug and make use of the checklist facility. Tick them off as they are resolved.

So there you go. Trello as a bug tracker. It's not perfect, but I set up ours in under 10 minutes, you can have your whole team collaborating together working through problems or changes. It's much better than yet another Excel spreadsheet and you can see at a glance visually the status of the bugs.