Bug Fairy Tales

Learning from your mistakes is one thing. But learning as a group from everyone’s mistakes is powerful. There is however one catch: you don’t like you mistakes, how can you feed good by sharing them with others?

I often asked myself what does a bug want? I came up with this: it wants go into production. Some made it to the testing environment, some to the demo environment but the best ones make it to production.

So I collected some of the most important production bugs and put them in a magazine:

bug fairy tales

While working on it I followed a couple of guidelines:

  1. The title should be generic, something that resonates
    • Automating tests that were not good enough
    • Forgetting about configurations and setup
    • When something goes wrong, make sure you understand why
    • The road to bad things is paved with good intentions
    • There is never a single root cause.
  2. White it without naming anyone or do not give any proof of what happened (incident or bug IDs)
  3. Add visual highlights.
    • The road to bad things is paved with good intentions blame
    • There is never a single root cause.


4. Get the Fairy Tales from the colleges. Someone who was there when the defect was spotted. Add their photo and name as the Fairy Tale Teller. You should guide them to create the stories.

5. When possible make references to methodologies or guidelines

6. Explain to everyone so that they understand.  Draw diagrams and explanation technology details.

diagram for

7. If you consider it useful add world famous bugs.

How to turn it into a book or magazine?

Get some good printer paper. Arrange the pages so that you print 2 pages on side of a  A4 paper (you should have 4 pages printed on a single A4 sheet, front and back).  It might take some time to figure out the order of the pages. In the example bellow the Bug Fairy Tale has just 4 pages that will be printed on single A4 paper. The first page is actually the last page of the magazine.

make the magazine

Bend the paper on the middle so that you get a A5 Bug Fairy Tale magazine.

You will also need a A4 stapler in case you have more than 1 sheet. It is like a extension for a regular stapler. It will allow you to bind the A4 in the middle so that you get a A5 magazine and all sheet are together.


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