The Best Software for Tracking, Managing, and Squashing Bugs

Pesky Bugs

Coding is hard. No matter how long you spend combing through your code and testing your software, eventually a bug or two will persist to launch day. But that doesn’t mean you can leave your product as-is. Consumers want software that works 100% of the time. And with stiff competition across all industries, it is simply not feasible to leave errors unchecked. Bugged software can damage your reputation, impact your revenue, and take up hours of valuable development time that could have been used elsewhere to create new features. 

Tracking and fixing bugs is one of the most important parts of shipping and maintaining any software product. That’s why the best development teams are very selective when it comes to the bug tracking software they use. In this guide, you will learn about the most popular bug tracking programs used by top tech teams from around the world.

1. Jira

First released in 2002 as a tool marketed specifically for tracking and managing bugs in software development, Jira has expanded beyond IT and evolved into a full-fledged project management platform. Jira allows development teams to report, manage, and fix bugs through a clean, organized, and visual interface. It works well with agile project development and includes highly customizable workflows, filters for tracking specific types of bugs, and detailed bug reporting. Once a bug has been detected you can generate a report with all relevant details including things like bug descriptions, level of severity, screenshots, version info, and more. Jira is known for its robust feature set, customizable workflows, and plugin integration capabilities.

2. Bugzilla

Originally developed by the Mozilla team in 1998, Bugzilla remains one of the most well-known bug trackers in existence. Bugzilla is open-source and contains a number of useful features such as native time tracking, integrated email features, comprehensive permission options, and advanced search filters. It warns you if you are duplicating a bug and has a ‘watching’ feature that gives you notifications when other users make modifications. Best of all, since Bugzilla is an open-source project the license is totally free.

3. MantisBT

MantisBT is a basic, open-source bug tracker that focuses on striking the perfect balance between ease of use and complex advanced features. You can set permissions and access control on a per-project basis and establish an email notification system for any changes. There’s also an optimized mobile UI addon in case your team needs mobile access. MantisBT is built on the PHP hypertext preprocessor and is fully compatible with both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases. Beyond bug tracking, MantisBT also functions well  as a management platform for larger software development projects.

4. Trac

Trac was purpose-built for bug reporting and issue tracking, but also functions well as a document manager. It features a minimalist design, an integrated wiki, and the ability to link bugs to various other files, reports, and tasks. It’s a great way to keep your bug reports organized. Trac is open-sourced, cloud-based, and was built using Python. Bug reports can be searched and filtered by specific project and type of bug, making tracking a breeze. The built-in wiki is a treasure trove of useful information and guides, and the ticketing system is easy to use even for rookie developers. Trac can also integrate with other version control systems such as Subversion and Git.

5. Redmine

Redmine is an open-source project management application created using the Ruby on Rails framework. It features an issue tracking system that allows you to create reports for a project and assign it to an owner. Redmine can support multiple projects at once and has a native time tracker, Gantt charts, calendar view, and more. You can create subtasks and issue them to team members, generate issues with editable subjects and descriptions, and build customizable fields for issues, projects, and time entries. While Redmine isn’t explicitly a bug tracking tool by design, it allows you to organize, track, and work on a number of issues ranging from feature development to task setting and bug reporting. It’s also a web application, so it works across multiple platforms and has plugins which allow seamless integration with source code management systems.

6. Zoho Bug Tracker

Zoho Bug Tracker is a bug tracking tool that allows you to build custom workflows, generate custom fields, and personalize your UI to make catching bugs simple and straightforward. It features moveable task boards, a variety of bug reporting tools, and interactive forums where you can ask questions and network with other developers. There are custom views so teams can track and archive bugs easily, and user privileges and permissions can be set individually for each team member. Zoho also generates reports that outline how many bugs have been flagged, tracked, and resolved. You can set up email notifications for your team, and allow commenting permissions for flagged bugs. Perhaps one of Zoho’s most interesting features is its gamification module called ‘Motivator’ that boosts “your team’s sales performance via competition and gamification.”

7. YouTrack

YouTrack is a project management tool that functions as a convenient platform for managing projects and planning future features, sprints, and iterations. It can also track daily tasks, customer requests, and bugs that need resolving. YouTrack is packed with features that help speed up the bug tracking and squashing process, such as smart search functions and instant issue reporting. It supports Scrum and Kanban methodologies and has an extensive reporting system in multiple categories including timeline, time management, state transition, and issue distribution. YouTrack’s built-in time management system allows simultaneous tracking of the entire project, single iterations, and individual issues. 

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Lithios is a web/mobile app development shop located in Raleigh, NC. This is a blog written by one of our guest contributors.

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