While helping new contributors start hacking on Firefox for Android and Firefox OS, I’ve realized that getting comfortable with Bugzilla is a really important part of getting ramped up. Over the years, people have come up with various tips, tricks and tools for making Bugzilla easier to use, and I thought it would be helpful to gather those into one handy blog post!

To start, if you’ve never used Bugzilla before (or even if you have), you should watch a video johnath made called “Bugzilla for Humans”. It gives a nice overview of key Bugzilla features, as well as tips for more advanced users.

After that, you should watch beltzner’s quicksearch video to get a more familiar with Bugzilla’s quicksearch feature. In your browser, you should add a bookmark keyword to search for bugs from your location bar. You can also add Bugzilla to your list of available search engines in your search bar. For a complete list of things you can do with quicksearch, check out the quicksearch reference on Bugzilla.

If you find yourself interested in a certain area of the Mozilla project, you can opt to watch its Bugzilla component. You can also watch certain users, which is a neat feature if you’re a new contributor looking to follow the activity of a more experienced developer. If you’re a new contributor working on a mentor bug, you should watch your mentor to see what he or she is up to! If you start watching components you’ll definitely want to set up some sort of filter to handle your bugmail. For inspiration, you can see what other Bugzilla users have done to handle their Bugmail.

Because Bugzilla has a REST API, people have made tools on top of Bugzilla to make certain tasks easier. For example, there are tools to file new bugs, track a user’s bug activity, and find mentored bugs. There’s also a Firefox add-on that modifies Bugzilla itself to make things easier.

Last, but not least, you should read Bugzilla’s etiquette guidelines to understand what behavior is expected of Bugzilla users. In general, just be a nice person and everyone will be happy!

This is just a quick overview, but if anyone out there has more helpful tips, please share them in the comments!