All You Need To Know About Defect Severity In A Nutshell

Basic QA Terms – What’s Defect Severity?

Defect SeveritySoftware testing is not about finding as many bugs as possible. Such an approach would be a literal waste of both money and effort. Why? Did you ever hear about the Murphy Laws in programming? If there’s even a single line of code that makes the entirety of an application there will be at least one bug in it.

Bugs will always be an integral element of software. It’s just that some of them are harmless while others can cause chaos and malfunctions. Some software issues are more critical than others. That’s exactly why professional QA testers like prefer to define severity of errors.

What’s defect severity?

In order to understand what severity is we are to realize what professional testers call with the term “defect”. These are tiny pieces of overall functionality that are basically an anomaly. They are the ways an application is different from the original plan of behavior that was initially intended by business logic. Or, in simple words, they are the things going wrong after users push the buttons.

defect-severity2Luckily for us a lot of the factors that trigger defects are impossible for any user to locate and some don’t do anything wrong but prolonging load for a couple of milliseconds. Should those be fixed as well? Yeah, if you feel like you have the time and money to rewrite an app over and over again. Most of us are not proud with limitless resources thus we evaluate the necessity of fixes through defect severity.

Different severity levels

  • Low-level defects: these are slight flaws in cosmetic appeals, typos and whatever that may be irritating to only those with mischievous scrupulousness of a detective hound.
  • Medium-level flaws in priority: These resilient buggers don’t usually crash the app yet they can cause chaos and confusion in UI or UX, affect load speed or bring up countless error messages. Medium-level defects are quite irritating to users of all shapes and sizes.
  • High-priority bugs. These usually shut down the entire system or at least a fair share of its core functionality leaving the up live, running but completely useless to end-users.
  • Show-stoppers. These critical errors shut down an app completely. They can even crash the entire system or sub-system meaning devices have to be physically rebooted or even fixed. Show-stoppers are software bugs of highest priority and are to be treated accordingly.

Now you know that not all bugs are bad. Feel free to overlook fixing the little ones in order to save both time and money but remember – low-level defects have the tendency to stack up.  

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