Better Software Magazine Archive:

July/Aug 2000

IN THIS ISSUE

Testing for Exceptions
By Keith Stobie

The basic problem with exception handling is that it is difficult! Exception handling in modern languages makes it easy to drastically change the contents of memory. The next instruction executed may be very distant from the site of the exception, and required cleanup might not be done. In C++ the problem can be particularly acute, with lost memory not reclaimed correctly. For these reasons, it's critical for good testing of exception handling that we test all representative sequences of normal and exceptional calls.

The Two Faces of Quality
By Lina Watson

Lina Watson questions the conflicting views of quality assurance and describes the distortions that can occur between software process realities and their perceived image in the corporate world.

Scripted Validation
By David M. Bennett

David Bennett discusses how scripted validation helped revolutionize his organization's software development efforts. This article contains a sample script.

A Look at Bug Tracking Using Bugzilla
By Robert Sievers

Robert Sievers manages QA on the development of Abi-Word, a cross-platform free-use open source word processor. When it came time to pick a bug tracking system, he looked into Bugzilla, the open source bug tracking system created by mozilla.org, and found that the open source development model worked just as well for QA tools as it does for utilities and applications.

Software Requirements
By Brian Lawrence
Johanna Rothman

Brian Lawrence and Johanna Rothman recommend Software Requirements by Karl Wiegers, a "readable, practical book about gathering and managing requirements, focused on best practices."

How Do You Build the Right Software Right?
By Brian Lawrence

Technical Editor Brian Lawrence explains his top-three list of things to do to deliver the right software right: risk-based planning, problem definition and modeling, and congruent leadership.

Keys to Setting Achievable Goals
By David A. Schmaltz

David Schmaltz identifies five types of goals—aspirations, constraints, regulators, targets, and legacies—and shows how to find common understanding and create meaningful objectives in team projects.

Managing the Communication Storm Front
By Elizabeth K. Schmitz

The communication storm front is a real phenomenon that crops up in all development teams and in all organizations. You need not be the victim of such storms. You, as development manager, have the tools to reduce the power of the storm front and create a team that is ever more effective and efficient.

Automating Requirements Traceability
By Bill Councill

Developing software to meet users' specific needs can be a difficult task. Verification and validation activities can help ensure that you are building the right software right.

Your Piece of the Pie
By Alyn Wambeke

More than 1,800 industry professionals responded to the third annual STQE/StickyMinds salary poll. The results suggest that, although it has been an unsettling year, the picture doesn't look all that bad for software QA professionals.

Retiring Lifecycle Dinosaurs: Adaptive Software Development
By Jim Highsmith

Adaptive Software Development (ASD) is one of a growing number of alternatives to traditional, process-centric software management methods. Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Development, SCRUM, and Crystal Light methods—although different in many respects—are tied together by a focus on people, results, minimal methods, and maximum collaboration. They are geared to the high speed and high change of today's e-business projects.

Software Installation Testing: How to Automate Tests for Smooth System Installation
By Chris Agruss

Installation testing—especially manual testing—can sometimes be grueling. Here are several aspects of installation testing that are best suited to automated methods.

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