Handling Critical Bugs in Test Environments

Handling Critical Bugs in Test Environments

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

As a Test Engineer, encountering critical bugs that are difficult to reproduce can be a challenging experience. One such scenario involves a bug in an online banking system where clicking the “Submit” button multiple times due to a slow test environment results in duplicate transactions. This article provides a structured approach to addressing such issues effectively.

Steps to Address Critical Bugs

When faced with a critical bug that is reproducible only in a specific test environment, follow these steps to ensure it is handled appropriately:

1. Document the Bug Thoroughly

  • Create a formal issue in the bug tracker. Include a “not-stable” or “requires more information” label.
  • Mention both your and the development team manager in the ticket to ensure visibility.

2. Attempt Reproduction in Different Environments

  • Use browser developer tools to simulate a slow connection. For instance, Chrome allows you to select connection speed and quality.

3. Provide Visual Evidence

  • Create a video demonstrating the bug and attach it to the ticket. This visual proof can be compelling for management and developers.

4. Investigate Production Logs

  • Explore production logs for specific patterns of repeated transactions. This can serve as proof that the issue may already be present in the production environment.

5. Communicate the Bug’s Impact

  • Frame the issue as not disabling the Submit button between clicks, highlighting the potential for serious negative feedback from customers.
  • Discuss the high cost of processing returns if the bug is released to production.

6. Escalate If Necessary

  • If your manager disagrees with the development team manager, ask for a resolution from higher management.
  • Retain the bug in the tracking system and notify your team members to prepare for potential customer reports.

Improving Test Environments

The inability to reproduce a bug in different environments suggests a need for a diverse range of test setups. Ensure your test environment includes a variety of systems with different performance levels. This can help identify issues that may not be apparent in a uniform testing setup.


Handling critical bugs that are difficult to reproduce requires a methodical approach. Documenting the issue, attempting reproduction in various environments, providing visual evidence, investigating logs, and effective communication are key steps. Additionally, improving test environments to include diverse setups can prevent similar issues in the future.

For teams looking to streamline their testing processes, tools like Repeato can be invaluable. Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android, which leverages computer vision and AI, making it particularly fast to edit and run tests. It simplifies the setup and use of automated tests, ensuring quality assurance processes are efficient and effective.

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