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Linux Users Make Better Software Testers

An indie developer is reporting that his Linux users generate a disproportionate number of bug reports, and the reports are higher quality....
Linux Users Make Better Software Testers
Written by Matt Milano
  • An indie developer is reporting that his Linux users generate a disproportionate number of bug reports, and the reports are higher quality.

    User-submitted bug reports are one of the main ways many developers — especially smaller ones — identify bugs and improve their apps. Despite Linux having a much smaller desktop market share than either Windows or macOS, at least one developer is crediting Linux users with being far more productive as bug reporters.

    Koderski, at Kodera Software, posted his findings in a thread on Reddit.

    “As of today, I sold a little over 12,000 units of ΔV in total,” writes Koderski. “700 of these units were bought by Linux players. That’s 5.8%. I got 1040 bug reports in total, out of which roughly 400 are made by Linux players. That’s one report per 11.5 users on average, and one report per 1.75 Linux players. That’s right, an average Linux player will get you 650% more bug reports.”

    Koderski also addresses the misconception that making his game available for Linux led to a large number of additional bugs, making the case that a Linux version didn’t create any more work — only better reporting.

    “Do you know how many of these 400 bug reports were actually platform-specific? 3. Literally only 3 things were problems that came out just on Linux. The rest of them were affecting everyone – the thing is, the Linux community is exceptionally well trained in reporting bugs. That is just the open-source way. This 5.8% of players found 38% of all the bugs that affected everyone. Just like having your own 700-person strong QA team. That was not 38% extra work for me, that was just free QA!”

    Koderski’s findings should be of interest to any company that develops software, and shows that developing for Linux carries benefits beyond just an immediate financial reward.

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