Better Software Magazine Archive:

Jan/Feb 2001

IN THIS ISSUE

The Power Loss Trap
By Matt Leahy

In order to be effective, Testing must co-exist on a level playing field with Development and Project Management. It cannot be subservient to them. A test lead's authority on a project springs from his or her projected sense of self-confidence in the role, and the Power Loss Trap undermines this authority. Here are a few commonsense ways to protect yourself.

Network Testing with Shunra's STORM
By Ron Ioszpe

STORM is a software-driven combination of hardware and software that recreates multiple, real-life, WAN links in terms of bandwidth limitations, packet loss, latency, jitter, and more–all in a local area network (LAN) lab. By providing a test bed that brings the WAN into a controlled and repeatable LAN environment, we can test and evaluate the performance and robustness of IP applications or devices before wide-scale deployment, or compare new technologies before field testing.

Thinking About Thinking
By Esther Derby

Esther Derby recommends The Logic of Failure and The Thinking Manager's Toolbox. Both authors share the same goal: helping you be a better problem solver. They stress the importance of recognizing the situation you're in, choosing an appropriate problem-solving strategy, and having the right thinking tools.

Know Thy User
By Brian Marick

Testing, in its broadest sense, means ensuring that your visionaries and programmers are creating a helpful product that people will actually use. As the two authors of this installment of Bug Report illustrate, understanding how those users will operate your application is more than an exercise in empathy; it's a simple key to avoiding some real usability meltdowns.

Houston, We Have a Problem
By jon hagar

Errors start with individuals, and a primary job of testers/QA people is to prevent those errors in the first place. But an equally important part of the job is to find them once they are there, understanding that errors will happen. Jon Hagar asks, "What can we do personally, above and beyond the normal day-to-day jobs that we testers and developers have?"

Developing Your Professional Network
By Danny R. Faught

Do you shudder at the thought of having to learn social etiquette in order to manage your professional network? Networking rituals do have to evolve to fit with new communication mechanisms. But the workings of the human psyche haven't changed, and you still need to learn the skills that are necessary to develop a network that can bolster your career.

When Assessments Are Relative
By Bob King

Taking development and business contexts into consideration can mean the difference between a correct assessment and a useful assessment. Here's information on how to provide an assessment that's both correct and effective.

Behind Closed Doors: What Every Tester Should Know About Web Privacy
By Russ Smith

The explosion of personal information on the Web has made privacy a primary concern. Here are pointers on making sure your site works for security-conscious users, as well as information to help you avoid inadvertent compromises of privacy.

Managing in Mayberry: An Examination of Three Distinct Leadership Styles
By Dan Starr

The assumptions you make about the people you manage can shape your management style. Here's a detailed look at three distinct styles of management and how they apply to your software projects.

Immunizing Against Predictable Project Failure
By I II

To be truly successful, a project needs more than a list of requirements and good intentions. Here's a way to use project charters to define the big-picture relationship and expectations between Developers and Management.

Mining Gold from Server Logs
By Karen N. Johnson

What do your customers really think about your Web site? Here's how to use the records you already have to improve your Web testing.

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