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The defect life cycle, also known as the bug life cycle, is a sequence of stages that a defect goes through from discovery to resolution in software testing. This process is crucial for software quality assurance engineers to manage and rectify issues efficiently, ensuring the quality and reliability of the software product. Here’s a breakdown of the typical stages in the defect life cycle:

  1. Identification/Discovery: A defect is discovered during the testing phase. It could be found by testers, developers, or users and is then reported to the development team.
  2. Reporting: The defect is documented in a defect tracking tool, such as JIRA or Bugzilla. This includes a detailed description, steps to reproduce, screenshots (if applicable), and severity and priority levels.
  3. Triage: The test lead or project manager reviews the defect to verify its validity. They assign the defect to the appropriate developer based on the defect’s nature and impact. The priority and severity are also reviewed and adjusted if necessary.
  4. Analysis: The developer assigned to the defect analyzes it to understand the root cause. This involves replicating the defect under controlled conditions, if needed, to confirm its existence and understand its nature and impact.
  5. Fixing: Once the defect is fully understood, the developer makes code changes to fix the defect. This process may also involve updating documentation or modifying data, depending on the nature of the defect.
  6. Testing: After the defect has been fixed, it is reassigned to the testing team. The testing team then retests the software in the area where the defect was found, as well as potentially other affected areas, to ensure that the defect has been resolved and that no new issues have been introduced.
  7. Resolution: If the retesting is successful, the defect status is updated to “Resolved.” If the defect still exists or if a new issue has arisen, it may be reopened and sent back through the life cycle.
  8. Verification: The tester verifies the fixed defect and checks if the corrections meet the requirements and don’t adversely affect other parts of the software.
  9. Closure: Once a defect has been fixed and verified, and it is confirmed that it meets the acceptance criteria, the defect is closed. Comprehensive documentation of the defect’s life cycle is updated for future reference.
  10. Post-release Monitoring: After the software is released, the defect is monitored for any recurrence or related issues that might arise in the production environment.

Understanding and effectively managing the defect life cycle is key to improving the quality of software products and ensuring customer satisfaction. It also helps in maintaining systematic documentation and learning from past defects to prevent similar issues in future projects.

Omer Khan

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