Better Software Magazine Archive: May/June 2009

IN THIS ISSUE

Crash Course in Proficient Presenting
By Naomi Karten

Ben has to make a presentation at the next all-hands meeting. It'll be his very first presentation, and just thinking about it has sent him into a panic. Fortunately, he has the support of an experienced speaker and coach who offers advice and encouragement to help him become a proficient, panic-free presenter.

Issues about Metrics about Bugs
By Michael Bolton

Managers often use metrics to help make decisions about the state of the product or the quality of the work done by the test group. Yet, measurements derived from bug counts can be highly misleading because a "bug" isn't a tangible, countable thing; it's a label for some aspect of some relationship between some person and some product, and it's influenced by when and how we count ... and who is doing the counting.

GUT Instinct
By Kevlin Henney

Whether or not a unit test is considered good is not simply about what it tests: It is also very much about "how" it tests. Is the test readable and maintainable? Does it define the expected behavior or merely assume it? To be sustainable, the style of a unit test is just as important as the style of any other code. Perhaps a little surprisingly, the most commonly favored test partitioning style does not meet these expectations.

Putting the Kart before the Horse?
By Antony Marcano

Go-karting is where most of the current Formula One racing drivers first learned the basics of race-craft. Antony Marcano, a former kart racer himself, recounts a father-and-son racing experience that helps him explain what goes wrong for many organizations that adopt Scrum as their first attempt to "go agile."

Time to Let Go of Obsolete Jobs
By Lee Copeland

Town crier, elevator operator, gas lamp lighter, carbon paper distributor, telegraph operator—you probably haven't seen many help wanted ads for these occupations lately. Why? Because these occupations are gone—obsolete, unnecessary, outdated. We just don't need them anymore. When new paradigms are created, new jobs are often created with them. And sometimes, existing jobs are no longer relevant.

What to Expect When You're Automating Testing
By Daniel Wellman

After learning the basics of testing frameworks, writing tests for your existing codebase can be a daunting challenge. Where should you start testing, and what kind of tests will be the most effective? Learn how to kick-start your testing and some solutions to problems teams frequently encounter.

Virtual Realities: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls of Adopting Virtual Lab Automation
By Ian Knox

Virtual Lab Automation (VLA) is a ground-breaking technology that promises quantifiable benefits for application development and test organizations, including faster lab deployment, less manual setup work, greater resource flexibility and utilization, and easier reproduction of defects. In this article, Skytap's Ian Knox discusses the best practices and common pitfalls associated with adopting a VLA solution. In addition, he outlines the steps to evaluate a virtualization solution for your test organization and provides further resources to help you get started.

Scrum
By Laszlo Szalvay

For organizations trying to do more with less in the current economy, knowing where to turn for help can be a big question mark. But as Laszlo Szalvay of Danube explains, Scrum is one possible solution. This agile method of project management is quickly transforming the way software is developed by bringing teams together through frequent communication and high-impact collaboration, resulting in increased productivity and an ability to build a better product faster.

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