The code's crashed again, but why? Tell us your war stories of bugs found – and bugs fixed

We need your help in understanding how software issues are solved in production environments

Reader study Even the best software goes wrong from time to time. So, what exactly happens when it throws a wobbly, especially when it's a key component in a production environment?

Whether it's a total crash, a transaction failure, or the mangling of important data, there's going to be some kind of business impact. And the more the problem persists, the greater the level of pain, loss, and disruption.

Everyone wants faults identified, diagnosed, and fixed ASAP. Identification is not normally a challenge – user complaints, curses, screams, and threats usually provide a pretty good clue. But before anyone can prioritize and schedule a fix, someone needs to diagnose the problem.

Is it a fundamental software fault, a problem with the environment, or prevailing conditions at the time when things went off the rails, or some combination of these? It's hard enough to determine when the problem is reproducible, but what if it's one of those issues that appears intermittently and unpredictably? Sometimes these can run for days, weeks, or months.

Dealing with software faults and failures in a live environment is the subject of our latest Register reader study. If you work for a software vendor, we want your insights from a supplier support and engineering viewpoint.

If you are involved in operating commercial software bought in to help run your business, then we want your perspective as the customer. It'll be interesting to hear both sides of the story – for example, is it always down to vendor quality and support shortcomings, or are customers sometimes their own worst enemy?

Anecdotal feedback and news stories suggests there’s room for improvement, so help us highlight the things that matter, and we’ll report our conclusions on best practice to assist everyone in raising their game. All responses will be anonymous, and your privacy is assured.

Click here to get cracking! And thanks for your time: it's appreciated.

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