For the last couple months, I’ve been working on a bug tracking system for WAM that I expect will replace our current system in the coming months. It’s unlike us to build software from scratch if there is already something out there that suffices our needs. That’s why we use Basecamp for all our project management and Tick for time-tracking (when there’s good enough reason to track time).
Neither of these apps are amazing, nor should they be. In fact, we don’t use a large number of features within these relatively feature-light apps. We like them because they let us do the one or two things that we want to do…well. Nothing more, nothing less.
That’s why I’m building our own bug tracking tool. Whereas Basecamp helps us through the consultation and production of our client work, it hasn’t been a great fit for finishing the project. The end of our projects are no longer about collaboration, they are about finding out what’s wrong with the app, who should get it fixed, and then getting it fixed.
Most bug tracking tools we’ve looked at have horrible interfaces, are too oriented around “software people” or try to cram in way too many metrics. Instead, I’d like a bug tracking tool that makes communication easy, is client friendly (after all, clients are the ones that help us QA our own work) and lets me know what’s keeping a bug from getting fixed.
As a first step, here’s what the bug page looks like in my home-grown app. We’ll certainly be tweaking this, but the gist is there. Click for a bigger version.