10 common Software Errors and Bugs to watch for

In this post we are going to look on the ten most common software bugs and errors. These are the errors that are most common in the software development and had to be given enough importance to clear of the project. First of all let us see what is meant by an error or a bug. As defined in Wikipedia “An error is a deviation from accuracy or correctness” and  “A software bug is an error, flaw, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways “. There are many types of error which we come across regularly.

10 Common Types of Software Errors/Bugs:

1) Crash:

A crash is the sudden failure of a software application or operating system or of a hardware device such as a hard disk caused due to failure of handling exceptions

2) Functional Errors:

Functionality is a way the software is intended to behave. If the behaviour of the software varies from the expected output, then it is said to be functional error.


Expected Functionality for Submit button is that changes/entry entered should be submitted and saved. If the Submit button is not clickable then it is a functionality error.

3) Acknowledgement message error:

This is an error caused when the user is acknowledged/given feedback with wrong message or no message after doing an action

Eg: Failing to show message while adding/editing data

Failing to acknowledge user with email after signing to a forum

4) Missing command errors:

This error occurs when an expected command is missing.

Ex) If an user creates a new profile and there is no option for the user to exit from this window without creating the profile then this is a missing command error. Since ‘Cancel’/‘Close’ option/button is not available to the user,

5) Grammatical Error/typo error:

Syntactic errors are caused due to misspelled words or grammatically incorrect sentences. They are very evident while testing software GUI.

6) Error handling errors:

Any errors that occur while the user is interacting with the software needs to be handled in a clear and meaningful manner. If not, it is called as an Error Handling Error.

Eg1) The error message gives no indication of what the error actually is. Is it missing mandatory field, saving error, page loading error or is it a system error? Hence, this is an ‘Error Handing Error’.

If the software has certain mandatory fields that need to be filled before they can save the information on a form, the validation messages should be clear and indicative of the action that is required by the user.

7) Calculation Errors:

These errors occur due to any of the following reasons:

•Incorrect data type

•Incorrect logic

•Incorrect formulae

•Incorrect units

In 1999, NASA lost its Mars climate orbiter because one of the subcontractors NASA employed had used English units instead of the intended metric system, which caused the orbiter’s thrusters to work incorrectly. Due to this bug, the orbiter crashed almost immediately when it arrived at Mars.

8) Control flow errors:

The control flow of a software describes what it will do next and on what condition.

For example, consider a scenario where user has to fill in a form and the options available to user are: “Save”, “Save and Next”, and “Cancel”. If a user clicks on ‘Save and Next’ button, the user information in the form should be saved and the form should should show next tab. If clicking on the button does not navigates to next tab of the form, then it is a control flow error.

9) Hardware usage errors:

This Error occurs due to the usage of Wrong Device, Device unavailable, Underutilizing device intelligence, Misunderstood status or return code, Wrong operation or instruction codes.

10) Boundary related errors:

This error is caused due to boundaries in loop, space, time, memory, mishandling of cases outside boundary. Apart from these if there is a hidden change in an algorithm it might also cause the boundary related errors.

Reference: http://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/types-of-software-errors/

Test Engineer,
Mallow Technologies.

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