Bug Management

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All of our software has bugs. Some bugs are just bad code, some are incorrect specs, and some are things the client thinks should work differently than the way the application is built. In any case, we know there are plenty of bugs in software.

How companies handle bugs is interesting. Some feed these back to the current developer team. Some use junior developers to do bug work. Some have support teams that focus on bugs and coordinate with developers.

What if you get parts of your software from another source? More and more developers are using open source libraries, packages, frameworks, and more. How do you deal with bugs in those situations? As someone that has worked in this manner, tackling those bugs yourself is problematic and introduces other issues with your software development pipeline when the upstream source is updated.

Google is taking a different approach, actually assigning developers to projects that they need. One example is in this piece, about a couple developers assigned to the security of Linux. While the headline is that they keep finding lots of bugs, the more interesting part to me is that Google internally builds the OSS they use from source, add in their patches, and then use pull requests to get them accepted into the main project.

I don't know that many of us can afford to sponsor a developer to contribute to a project full time, but I do like the idea of using a fork to build your software from source. This might not prevent bugs or malware, but if you are hit in this manner, you know that lots of others will be as well.

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