Better Software Magazine Archive:

May/June 2000

IN THIS ISSUE

Developing Your Skills as a Tester
By Jack Cook

Jack Cook explores reasons for testers to gain development knowledge and experience. Expanding your knowledge into the arena of software development will not only enhance your testing skills, it will improve your marketability both inside and outside your company. Knowing that you can work intelligently with developers can be very rewarding to your career and your self-esteem, and it will help you enjoy your work experience even more.

Re-creating Me
By Maureen A. O’Hara

Change is the watchword of life in the software world--perhaps no field has grown and transformed itself as quickly as our industry. To survive and succeed in this business we must truly be masters of change; those who have been the most successful are the ones who have been able to use change as a tool and catalyst. Maureen O'Hara describes how change can be an agent for growth.

Bugs Beneath the Surface
By Brian Marick

Brian Marick uses two bugs to illustrate a small, but valuable, test design tip: Try the next thing that a user would try.

Defect Management with Soffront TRACK Defects
By Margaret Ramsey

Margaret Ramsey looks at Defect Management with Soffront's TRACK Defects. She concludes: "If this tool meets your requirements and its pricing isn't out of your ballpark, it's definitely worth considering. With its customizability and ease of use, TRACK Defects is one tool that should be on your evaluation list."

A Baker's Dozen of Dirty Words
By I II

III offers alternatives to thirteen commonly misused terms and phrases, including walkthrough, quality assurance, phase, O-O analysis, maintenance, function, and estimate.

I am a Bug, and Refactoring
By Brian Marick

Our editors recommend the books I am a Bug (a children's book written by a software development manager and tester to explain his job to his children) and Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (by Martin Fowler, with contributions by Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, and Don Roberts).

The Wonderful World of Software
By Brian Lawrence

Former STQE magazine Technical Editor Brian Lawrence shares a tale about why a commitment to quality and paying close attention to detail are critical elements in building better software. It’s all about careful planning and anticipating customer behavior. Go with Brian on a stroll through one of the oldest, best-known amusement parks to find out more.

Calculating the Value of Testing
By James Bullock

From an executive's perspective, software testing is not a capital investment in the physical plant, an acquisition, or another readily accepted business expense. A Quality Assurance Manager describes how to present testing as a business-process investment.

Build It or Buy It?
By Elisabeth Hendrickson

When software professionals need a tool to support their work, a common dilemma is whether to build the necessary tool or purchase it. Here's a look at the benefits, risks, and myths associated with each approach.

Designing Useful Metrics: Using Observation, Modeling, and Measurement to Make Decisions
By Esther Derby

First-order measurement can help you understand what's going on, make decisions, and improve results. Observation, modeling, and simple data gathering are things that you can implement in your work group without a big measurement program or big funding. Start by modeling your system and working out on paper how different measures will affect your system. Then involve your team, expand your model, and try some simple data gathering. This approach to measurement is one more tool in your toolkit, and it will move your organization toward better quality.

Testing Web-based Applications
By Hung Nguyen

To be most effective in analyzing and reproducing errors in a Web environment, you need to have a command over the operating environment. You also need to understand how environment-specific variables may affect your ability to replicate errors. With the application of some of the skills covered in this article, your Web testing experience should be less frustrating and more enjoyable.

Avoiding Scalability Shock
By Billie Shea

Web application scalability tops the list of challenges for those designing and developing e-commerce sites. Here are five steps to managing the performance of e-business applications: architecture validation, performance benchmarking, performance regression testing, performance tuning and acceptance, and continuous performance monitoring.

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