Thursday, March 11, 2010

Why your bugs are rejected (20+ reasons why developers can reject your bug reports)?

Scenario: You test your application. You discover some bugs. You are happy. You craft your bug reports and log them in the bug tracking system. The next day, you find that a number of the bugs submitted by you have been rejected by the developers. What may be the reasons? First, view my Bug Reporting tutorial. Then read below.

You may face bug rejections even when you are "seemingly" careful in your testing and bug reporting activities. Of course, you want your tests to be taken seriously. Do you know the various reasons why your bugs may be rejected? Reflect on the reasons given below and consider them when reporting bugs.

Bug rejection reasons related to requirements
1. There is no documented requirement that mentions the result expected in your bug report.
2. You are not aware of all the (minor) details (and caveats) of a requirement.
3. The requirement that you thought was not implemented is indeed implemented in another way. But you are not aware of this decision.
4. You are not aware about the changes to a particular requirement.
5. Your bug report relates to some work that has not started yet. Or, the work has started but has not been submitted for test yet.
6. Your bug report refers to some dummy test data in the application. This bug would not exist when the real/ realistic data is set up in the application.
7. The bug is in an area of the application not within the scope of development e.g. external systems, external content etc.
8. It has been like this since the beginning or for a long time OR the users have always accepted this result.

Bug rejection reasons related to test environment
9. The settings (e.g. language, region and fonts) on your test system are incorrect.
10. The application settings (e.g. settings in the administration section) used by you are incorrect.
11. Some required files are missing on your test system.
12. The required programs are missing on your test system. Or, you have the incorrect versions of the required programs.
13. The application does not support the platform (e.g. operating system and its versions or browser and its versions) tested by you.
14. You have tested against an old build. The bug is not present in the current build submitted for test.

Bug rejection reasons related to test data
15. The test data used by you is unrealistic.

Bug rejection reasons related to the test steps/ test case
16. The steps described in your bug report are unrealistic.

Bug rejection reasons related to the bug report itself
17. The Title (Summary) and Description of the bug report are mismatched.
18. It is not possible to understand your bug report (due to incomplete information provided or other reasons).
19. It is a duplicate bug report. For example, it is a complete duplicate of another bug report OR it describes the same problem that occurs in another area of the application as given in a valid bug report OR it describes a problem that is a part of the problem described in another valid bug report)

Bug rejection reasons related to management decisions
20. A long time after you submitted the bug, it is decided that it is not feasible to put in the effort required to fix it.
21. Due to strategic changes in the plan, all bug reports related to specific application functionality are rejected. Your bug report is one of those that are rejected.

Other reasons
22. The bug report describes a problem that is due to another bug. When this other bug would be fixed, the problem mentioned in your bug report would not exist.
23. The bug is too minor.

Once your bug is rejected, you would do well to remain calm. Read your bug report carefully and try to reproduce the bug. Then, analyze the reason for the bug rejection, establish whether it is a valid bug or not and take appropriate action. If it really an invalid bug, treat this event as a learning experience. If you think that it is a valid bug, you should confidently take further action in support of your bug report. Either way, you would become more mature as a tester. However, remain motivated and enthusiastic even when you mature. Motivation and enthusiasm play a big part in your testing success.
Have you ever had a bug rejected? What was the reason? Share it in your comment.


  1. A good coverage of an important issue. You might consider adding reasons due to economics.
    At a previous employer, some bugs were rejected if there weren't resources to fix the defect within two years -- both developers and testers were unhappy about this, but what can you do?

  2. Jonathan,

    This is certainly possible. I have added another category, Bug rejection reasons related to management decisions. The reason pointed out by you is under this new category.

    Thank you,

  3. Other Bug Rejected reason that i could think of is "Duplicate". When a similar defect was reported by another team member.