What are Bugs? Definition and Examples

Max 3min read

What are Bugs?

A bug is an error, a flaw, or a fault in a computer program or software which causes it to behave in ways neither expected by the user nor intended by the developers. 

Bugs have become one of the most widely used terms in software development, but it is not well-liked for reasons that will be clear shortly. 

A bug may be an error in the programming or software of an application. 

A bug may be the result of a mistake or an error or could arise from a fault or defect. 

Ideally, any software bug should be caught during the testing phase of a product but some may still go unnoticed until after the launch.

If it isn’t, well, you just have to figure it out. 

Examples of Software Bugs

Bugs are nothing more than the result of an error in code. Any error in code may cause the application to behave incorrectly causing problems varying from stability issues to operability problems. 

Software bugs can cause the software to completely lock up or crash, but may also cause erroneous output without crashing the software. For instance, if the software was supposed to add two amounts together, but subtracted them instead, the software would continue working, but the output would be incorrect.

Software bugs can also cause a ripple effect on a product.

An apt example is the case of Therac-25 radiation. Therac-25 was a radiation therapy designed in the 1980s. 

The software used in the machine suffered from a number of bugs and as a ripple effect of those bugs, many patients suffered from an overdose of radiation and lost their lives. 

Most of the bugs do not cause such a significant loss of (tangible) life, but for developers, it is finding, analyzing, and solving them quickly, which is the most important thing.

Who is responsible for fixing the bugs?

Typically, you would want the developers to notice a bug at the early stages and rectify it then and there. But sometimes, the bug may get through anyway. 

The Quality Assurance team may notice the bug while running some automated tests. It is best if a bug is identified before the product is handed over to the user. Users can be fickle and if they encounter a bug, it could ruin their experience and potentially result in the loss of a customer.

After a bug is noticed, the responsibility of fixing it falls back on the developers. The developers are responsible for tracking down the bugs and then fixing them in an efficient manner.

Another great way to identify a bug for developers is through Version Control.

This involves viewing all the revisions done to the product at every stage of the product development process to track down when the issue appeared for the first time.


Are typos a kind of a bug?

Yes, they most definitely are. A typo in a code can result in many drastic changes to the way a code is supposed to work and the way it actually works.

What is the reason that software has bugs?

There can be several reasons that software has bugs, but the most common reason is human mistakes in software design and coding.

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