Better Software Magazine Archive:

Jan/Feb 2003

IN THIS ISSUE

Site Unseen: Testing Web Services
By Helen Joyce

It may only be a matter of time before you hear the words, "We need you to test a Web service." Ebusiness technology is being transformed with the creation of a new type of application called a Web service. Software developers are poised, eager to deploy Web services, but what does it mean to the world of software testing? Read on to find out!

The Four Most Dangerous Words
By Peter Clark

Think you're ready to implement a fantastic new process? How do you know whether the results are going to be different this time or if they are going to be the same? In this issue, Peter Clark gives you some tips on the proper way for companies to implement new processes.

Taking Stock of Your Career
By Elisabeth Hendrickson

Assess the state of your career by making a list of the positives and negatives. By creating your dream job on paper you can form a plan to help you get there. Elisabeth Hendrickson encourages you to make the time to take stock of your current career situation.

A Look at Application Prototyping with easyPilot
By Bill Walton

This application tool allows non-programmers to produce working prototypes of Windows, or Web-based, database-driven applications. Read on to find out how this new tool makes protoyping a viable part of the IT software development process.

The Upside of Downsizing
By Mike Cohn

This article gives some pointers on surviving downsizing and will introduce you to the Scrum process. Scrum empowers teams by allowing requirements to be fluid while work is progressing. Learn what steps to follow to simplify and streamline your project by adopting this process.

Usability and Privacy
By Nathaniel Good

While most bugs that make headline news are due to careless software implementations exploited by skilled hackers, the problems in KaZaA center around its user interface. This article details KaZaA's application flaws and then suggests ways to prevent such flaws.

Software Configuration Management Resources
By Steve Berczuk

It is essential that team members embrace SCM practices because coordination is necessary to achieve a reliable, productive product. After you determine which practices are appropriate, you can choose the right tool based on your needs and budget.

Are You Listening?
By Esther Derby

Chances are you won't be able to deliver on everything your customer wants. Asking good questions at the beginning of a project can help you determine where your customer wants to go. Although you may not be able to give them everything they want, if you are able to deliver the top ten things on a list of fifty items you've still delivered value. Keeping the lines of communication open is essential to helping you achieve your project goal.

The Productivity Factor
By Geof Lory

How effectively and efficiently your team functions can make the difference between project success and project failure. Once a decision-making process is established, it is up to the project manager to hold the team accountable to the process. Over time, processes can stagnate and lose their relevance. The project manager should continually monitor the process for applicability and make adjustments where necessary. Learn how to leverage your team's performance through process, structure, and team leadership.

Metrics That Matter
By Marsha Holliday

Metrics are only worthwhile if you review and use them. Do your quality reports go directly from the inbox to the trash can? A quality metrics program can be a great asset to your organization. Engineering, sales, and the company overall can benefit from having such a program. This article will help you explore ways to make measurements meaningful outside of QA.

Deconstructing GUI Test Automation
By Bret Pettichord

Window mapping gives elements specific names so tests are easier to update and understand. Task libraries group sequences of steps that make up part of user tasks when those sequences show up in multiple tests. Data-driven test automation separates the parameters of a test case from the test script so that the test script can be reused for many related tasks. Keyword-driven test automation formats tests as tables or spreadsheets and creates parsers to read and execute the test descriptions. Take advantage of these four techniques to help you test a graphical user interface, and see how developers can make your life easier.

A Calculated Gamble
By Payson Hall

Starting a project without considering the risks is quite a gamble. Learn how to increase your odds through the practice of good risk management. Effective organizations recognize that bad stuff may happen during a project. Risk management is about anticipating what might happen, examining and prioritizing those possible bad events, and figuring out what to do about them. In this article, review the Risk Management Glossary and discover remedies to risks that may help you prevent many common problems.

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