Scott Berkun wrote a two part article back in August titled, How to Decide What Bugs to Fix When
(Part two is here
). He's primarily discussing corporate software, but much of it can also be transferred to individual software authors. For that translation, just replace the phrase "your CEO" with "you." Here's a snip:THE TOP 10 WORST WAYS TO DECIDE:
- Fix only the bugs that annoy your CEO.
- Fix every bug (never ship).
- Don't fix any bugs (ship today!).
- Fix only the bugs that annoy your CEO's spouse/daughter/pet hamster.
- Require approval for every decision from the most annoying and least intelligent person in your organization (possibly redundant with No. 10).
- Start on a bug at random, and when you're halfway finished, switch to another. Repeat.
- Play bug hot potato. Don't fix bugs, just keep assigning yours to someone else.
- Put bugs in alphabetical order and fix them from A to Z, skipping vowels. (Hint: if you relabel bugs appropriately, this is equivalent to No. 8.)
- Create a complex parliamentary system of delegates elected by two-thirds majority to draft a charter of bylaws and rules of order for the formation of three bilateral subcommittees empowered to moderate future strategic defect management discourse.
- Spend all available time debating whether your current process appears on this list.
Hopefully, you've never seen any of these in action; and now that you've been warned, you can avoid them in the future. Should your manager suggest any of these, please stand up, turn around quietly, and run as fast as you can.