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Better Software Magazine Articles

From Here to Acceptance Test-Driven Development

Acceptance test-driven development (ATDD) means different things to different people based on their experiences—from "It's all about testing" to "It has nothing to do with testing,” and from "TDD, ATDD—it's all the same" to "TDD and ATDD are nothing alike." These nine landmarks will help you navigate ATDD no matter where you are coming from.

Antony Marcano's picture Antony Marcano
So, You've Got a Problem: Crafting Remarks and Abstracts for Defect Reports

Software defect reports are among the most important deliverables to come out of software testing. They are as important as the test plan and will have more impact on the quality of the product than most other deliverables from the software test team. It's worth the effort to learn how to write an effective defect report that conveys the proper message and simplifies the process for everyone.

Kelly Whitmill's picture Kelly Whitmill
Idioms and Idiosyncrasies

As programmers, we are not merely engineering drones; we are also artisans. The act of programming involves as much artistry as it does technicality. When we craft great software, we naturally use language idioms help to show the elegance, beauty, and artistry of a piece of code. But sometimes the desire for beautiful idiomatic code can trip us up.

Pete Goodliffe's picture Pete Goodliffe
It's in the Way That You Use It

Rapid testers don't think of test automation merely as something that controls a program and checks for some expected result. Instead, we think of test automation as any use of tools to support testing. With that definition in mind, it may not be the most obvious automation tool that is the most useful.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Exit, Stage Left

Many technology workers are drawn to the industry from seemingly unrelated professions. Don't underestimate the importance of a liberal arts education and general life experiences to the technology field. These workers can bring a lot of value and wisdom to your team.

Patrick Bailey's picture Patrick Bailey
Programming with GUTs

Because tests are commonly viewed in terms of offering quantitative feedback on the presence or absence of defects in specific situations, Good Unit Tests need to both illustrate and define the behavioral contract of the unit in question. Do you have GUTs?

Kevlin Henney's picture Kevlin Henney
Two Cheers for Ambiguity

Some people dismiss words such as skill, diversity, problems, and mission as being too ambiguous to be useful. But one tester's ambiguity is another tester's gauge for assessing consensus on a project and how to achieve that consensus.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Going on a Picnic with James Watt

What if you had a picnic and no one brought potato salad? Find out what picnic planning and steam engines have to do with project success and not just satisfying your customers but delighting them.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Encourage Pair Programming

Pair programming is one of the most controversial agile practices. Managers are concerned about the costs and developers are concerned about personal agony. But there also are many benefits. If you are thinking about trying pair programming, here are several reasons why you should.

Rob Myers's picture Rob Myers
Software: Use at Your Own Risk

Is it really so hard to produce software that works? When was the last time you read a software license agreement? Most are one-sided statements that limit the product developer's liability. It's time to move away from "Use at your own risk" software and be upfront with customers about the true cost of quality.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison

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