Better Software Magazine Archive:

Nov/Dec 2005

IN THIS ISSUE

Changing Minds About Context Switching
By Johanna Rothman

Turn to The Last Word, where software professionals who care about quality give you their opinions on hot topics. This month, Johanna Rothman explains what technicians can do to convince management that context switching in the technical world is a sure-fire means to a late project.

A Look at Canoo WebTest
By Lisa Crispin

Need to get the scoop on the latest software tests and trends? You've come to the right place. Get one reviewer's opinion of Canoo WebTest, an open source tool that supports Web application development through test automation.

The Short Management Lifecycle
By Patrick Bailey

Every manager has a story to tell. Find out how one management professional tackles a fictional dilemma. The story may be made up, but the solutions are tried and true. In this installment, Patrick Bailey tells the harrowing tale of a skilled technician-turned-manager who finds himself in a sticky situation with his CEO.

The Good, the Bad, and the Agile Customer
By Nick Alesandro

What do you do when assigned the role of project customer, with a team that has never worked with a customer, building an application that was barely thought out? Sound like a nightmare? It doesn't have to be. Find out how one project manager beat the odds to produce a high-quality, on-time release.

Sustainable Change
By Brian Marick

We're pleased to bring you technical editors who are well respected in their fields. Get their take on everything that relates to the industry, technically speaking. In this issue, Brian Marick suggests three ways to combat recidivism on your projects.

Metrics Motivation
By Jan Scott

Typical metrics are used to predict an outcome by comparing plans to actual results. They are objective and don't influence what you are trying to measure. Biased metrics, on the other hand, are a valuable tool for deliberately altering behavior to improve the performance of a group. Find out how biased metrics can be used on your projects to pinpoint problems in specific areas and to influence people to fix them.

Model Driven Architecture: It's Not Your Father's UML
By Timothy Korson

Software engineering has come a long way, but programmers still spend a lot of time on tasks that could be automated. Fortunately, there's model driven architecture with its new generation of modeling tools that go way beyond the average UML. Learn how MDA addresses the challenges of today's highly networked, constantly changing systems environment and provides an architecture that assures portability, platform independence, productivity, and much more.

Brushing Up on Functional Test Effectiveness
By Jennitta Andrea

What does dental floss have to do with automated functional testing? More than you might think. Learn from one Agile practitioner how you can apply the tenets of good oral hygiene to your functional tests for requirements artifacts so effective they'll make you smile.

Staying Out of Code Debt
By Mike Clark

All code is not created equal. Learn from a master of the craft how to spot bad code and mold it into good. Mike wraps up his year-long column with tips for heading off code bankruptcy and leaves us with some final words of wisdom to help us continue to improve our coding craft.

More Than One Answer; More Than One Question
By Michael Bolton

Connect with an expert to learn how to work smarter and discover new ways to uncover more defects. In this issue, Michael Bolton continues his discussion of James Bach's Heuristic Test Strategy Model by focusing on the importance of customer-facing quality criteria.

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