What is Bug Bash?:

A bug bash is a collaborative effort aimed at uncovering a large number of bugs within a short time interval. During a bug bash, various participants beyond testers, such as developers, product managers, engineering managers, designers, marketers, solution engineers, writers, customer support representatives, and even executives like the CTO and CEO, can also join in.

Why Bug Bash?

  • Discovering a substantial number of bugs in a very short time frame is a key goal. However, this approach may also lead to the identification of some invalid defects. For instance, if a colleague is not well-acquainted with the product, they might assume it’s supposed to function in a specific manner and subsequently report invalid defects. Nevertheless, we can embrace this side effect because it contributes to comprehensive test coverage.

  • Involving individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences in a bug bash unleashes a wealth of perspectives from various participants, resulting in the identification of bugs, product shortcomings, opportunities for improvement, and usability issues, among other insights.

  • Bug bashes foster enhanced collaboration among team members and cultivate a shared sense of responsibility for quality, both within the team and across the organization.

  • Participation in bug bashes provides an opportunity for members of other teams to gain a deeper understanding of different aspects of the product.

When to conduct a bug bash?

An effective practice is to organize two bug bashes: one with a larger number of participants and another with a select group.

  • First Bug Bash: This should occur when the feature reaches stability in the staging environment. At this point, most major issues in the product should be resolved, and any non-blocker issues are acceptable. This phase typically falls around the halfway mark to the release date or possibly even earlier.

  • Second Bug Bash: This is scheduled once we deem the product ready for release. Its primary purpose is to prevent any unexpected issues after the go-live phase, which may include regressions or the emergence of new issues.

How to conduct a bug bash?

  • Arrange the bug bash at a time that suits all participants, send out event invitations well in advance, and keep the event duration within a range of 1 to 1.5 hours.

  • In advance, share any pertinent documents or links related to the feature or necessary tools.

  • Request that all participants install the required tools and ensure they have the ‘application under test’ installed prior to the bug bash.

  • Verify that all pertinent systems are deployed and accessible in the testing environment.

  • Provide an overview of the bug bash’s testing scope and what will be examined, maintaining focus among participants.

  • Define the roles of the moderator, participants, and the stager, who will facilitate the bug bash and assist participants in accessing essential tools and devices.

  • Consider organizing teams to test specific feature areas and emphasize critical aspects.

  • Guarantee that all participants have access to relevant systems, environments, and necessary resources ahead of the bug bash.

  • Compile a list of known issues and problems to minimize duplicate reporting.

  • Distribute test data and request participants to confirm its previous use.

  • Establish a bug filing process, such as sharing an Excel sheet or creating a common ticket in JIRA.

  • Set up a communication channel, such as a Slack channel or Teams meeting, for participants to use during the bug bash.

  • Ponder the idea of acknowledging participants with items such as pizza or snacks after the bug bash.

  • Show respect for participants: As bug bashes involve individuals with varying technical expertise, expect a mix of both bugs and feedback. If an issue seems invalid, attempt to understand it from the participant’s perspective. If the decision is to close the issue, provide a detailed explanation and acknowledge the participant’s effort with a comment.

  • Express appreciation to the entire team: Following the conclusion of the bug bash, extend gratitude to all participants for their valuable time and extend invitations for their participation in future bug bashes.

Post bug bash activities

  • Issue Triage : After the bug bash, review all the issues and feedback collected during the event. Prioritize them based on severity and impact on the application.

  • Bug Tracking: Ensure that all the bugs and feedback reported during the bug bash are documented in your bug tracking system, such as JIRA or a similar tool. Assign them to relevant team members for further investigation and resolution.

  • Bug Reproduction: If the reported bugs are not immediately reproducible, work with the participants or testers to gather additional information or steps to reproduce the issues. This will help the development team in resolving the bugs more efficiently.

  • Bug Resolution: Developers should start working on fixing the identified bugs. Depending on the complexity of the issues, this might take some time. Keep the communication lines open with participants to provide updates on bug resolutions.

  • Regression Testing: After the bugs are fixed, perform regression testing to ensure that the changes did not introduce new issues or break existing functionality.

  • Documentation: Update your documentation, including user manuals and release notes, to reflect any changes made as a result of the bug bash.

  • Feedback Analysis: Review the feedback provided by participants. Look for common themes and trends in the feedback to identify areas that might need improvement or further development.

  • Reporting: Prepare a post-bug bash report summarizing the key findings, including the number of bugs identified, their severity, and any critical issues that were resolved. Share this report with the relevant stakeholders and the bug bash participants.

  • Acknowledgment and Rewards: Recognize and reward participants for their contributions. You can announce the winners of categories like “best bug hunter” and “most critical bug reporter” and distribute rewards accordingly.

  • Lessons Learned: Conduct a retrospective meeting with your team to discuss what went well during the bug bash and what could be improved for future events. Use this feedback to enhance your bug bash process.

  • Planning for Future Bug Bashes: Start planning for the next bug bash, taking into account the lessons learned from the current one. Consider incorporating any process improvements or changes suggested during the retrospective.

  • Continuous Improvement: Continuously iterate on your bug bash process to make it more effective and efficient. Implement changes based on feedback and lessons learned to ensure that future bug bashes yield better results.

Remember that post-bug bash activities are essential for ensuring that the issues identified during the event are addressed promptly and that the development team can make necessary improvements to the application. Effective communication and collaboration with participants and team members are key to the success of these activities.

How do we measure the success of the bug bash?

  • Number of Bugs Found: One of the primary metrics for measuring success is the number of bugs discovered during the bug bash. A successful bug bash should uncover a significant number of bugs, including critical and non-critical issues.

  • Bug Severity: Categorize the bugs based on their severity (e.g., critical, major, minor). A successful bug bash should identify critical issues that could have a severe impact on the application.

  • Bug Validity Rate: Assess the validity of reported bugs. Measure the percentage of bugs reported during the bug bash that are valid and require attention. This metric helps you filter out invalid defects and focus on real issues.

  • Collaboration and Participation: Assess the level of collaboration among participants from various roles and departments. A successful bug bash should promote cross-functional collaboration and engagement.

  • Stakeholder Satisfaction: Gather feedback from relevant stakeholders, such as product managers and executives, to assess their satisfaction with the bug bash outcomes and its impact on the product’s quality.

  • Acknowledgment and Rewards: Evaluate the effectiveness of acknowledging and rewarding participants for their contributions. Recognize individuals or teams who made significant contributions to the bug bash.

  • Continuous Improvement: Measure the extent to which the bug bash process is continuously improving over time. Are changes being implemented based on feedback and lessons learned?


A bug bash is a delightful and collaborative gathering centered around testing, where we unite in pursuit of a shared goal: ensuring top-notch quality. These bug bashes serve as a highly effective means of pinpointing and resolving issues before significant releases. Are you looking forward to the upcoming bug bash? Join us in conquering those bugs together!

Appreciate your time and attention!