Replication is a useful tool when investigating an error. Seeing the error in action and triggering it yourself lends confidence that your fix will be successful. However, replication is not always a fruitful practice. A developer can pour an incredible amount of time, energy, and resources into replicating an error and still come up without a satisfying conclusion. When replicating an error, be selective and intentional, and try to identify dead ends before pursing them. Focus on what is triggering the error.
Noibu can be a valuable ally when replicating an error, so we suggest augmenting your replication process to include elements of the Noibu toolbox. Before you begin the replication process, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I really need to replicate the error? Is the information collected from the Stacktrace, session recordings, and other resources sufficient for me to solve the problem without resorting to replication?
- Does the error seem easily replicable?
- Has Noibu highlighted an operating system/browser combination on which the error occurs frequently? If there's no clear combination, you're without an easy place to start when replicating the error.
- Is there a user action that reliably triggers the error? If the error occurs primarily once a user clicks a specific button, you can likely trigger the error by testing the button. However, if the error is an
on_loaderror, replicating the error depends on specific environment combinations–operating system, browser, URL, internet connection, device, race conditions, etc.
- Does the error occur frequently relative to overall site traffic? An error that occurs infrequently will be difficult to reproduce.
If the answer to both of these questions is Yes, replication may be an appropriate next step. However, set yourself up for success by answering the following questions:
- Do I understand what I need to have the best chance of triggering the error?
- What operating system should I try?
- What browser should I try?
- What sort of device should I try?
- Which page has the most error occurrences, and what action should I attempt?
- Do I have access to the environment(s) necessary to trigger the error? For example, if the error occurs on mobile devices but you're unable to simulate a mobile environment, you may be unable to replicate the error.