Agile teams move faster when cycle times are short and code deployments are frequent. To release often, a robust suite of automated tests is a must-have. Tests are the safety net that enables fearless change. Throughout a software system's lifespan, its test suite grows, evolves, and decays.
Continuous integration (CI) has become a buzzword, with most engineering organizations claiming they've adopted the practice. However, the sad truth is that unreliable tests, long feedback loops, and poor configuration management block their efforts and minimize CI's potential benefits. Jesse Dowdle shares how AtTask radically redesigned its engineering pipeline and, through massive CI scaling, drove three days of testing to just minutes. Learn the pros and cons of different CI systems and how to integrate them with the cloud. Watch a live demo of AtTask's internal test and CI systems, which they’ve designed to make "Every commit a potential release candidate"-meaning that every commit is an iteration. Arm yourself with the talking points to sell massive CI to executives.
Many software people look at creating great user experiences as a black art, something to guess at and hope for the best. It doesn't have to be that way! Jennifer Fraser explores the key ingredients for great user experience (UX) designs and shares the techniques she employs early-and often-during development. Find out how Jennifer fosters communications with users and devs, and works pro-actively to ensure true collaboration among UX designers and the rest of the team. Whether your team employs a formal agile methodology or not, Jennifer asserts that you need an iterative and incremental approach for creating great UX experiences. She shares her toolkit of communication techniques-blue-sky brainstorming sessions, structured conversation, and more-to use with different personality types and describes which types may approach decisions objectively versus empathetically.
Using an analogy to the building codes followed by architects and contractors in the construction of buildings, Rick Spiewak explores the fundamental principles for developing and delivering high quality, mission-critical systems. Just as buildings are constructed using different materials and techniques, we use a variety of languages, methodologies, and tools to develop software. Although there is no formal "building code" for software, software projects should consider-and judiciously apply-the recognized "best" practices of static analysis, automated unit testing, code re-use, and peer reviews. Rick takes you on a deep dive into each of these techniques where you'll learn about their advantages, disadvantages, costs, challenges, and more.
DevOps is an increasingly popular development approach focused on ensuring that delivered code is immediately stable and works as expected. DevOps team members must be multi-skilled and are expected to perform all the activities of development, testing, and SysAdmin tasks. Manoj Narayanan shares how to implement testing using DevOps tenets and how it differs from its more popular cousin, agile development. To work productively with developers and SysAdmins, testers must develop knowledge of development and design principles, programming languages, and continuous integration. Manoj explores the critical role that functional and regression test automation plays in enabling testing organizations to be more productive. Manoj concludes with an analysis of the cultural impact DevOps has on the testing organization and its interaction with other critical stakeholders-business, developers, operations, and customers.
By next year, 90 percent of large enterprises will include open-source software as business critical elements of their IT portfolios. However, most software development organizations have limited capability to govern the process of selecting, managing, and distributing open-source components-leaving them exposed to unforeseen technical and compliance risks. Larry Roshfeld examines how open-source components-and their dependencies-may expose your company to unforeseen and unnecessary vulnerabilities. He outlines the significant threats to software quality, stability, performance, security, and intellectual property that have occurred using such components. Then, Larry shares an action plan for balancing the risk/reward trade-offs of open-source software in the enterprise. Find out how to ensure that your organization uses only the highest quality open-source components and avoids the common vulnerabilities.
Quality in delivered software is very different from quality in physical goods. You can see it or touch it, except in the code. When classes and methods are cohesive, non-redundant, well-encapsulated, assertive, and explicitly coupled, they are less prone to developer mistakes and far easier to debug, test, and maintain. David Bernstein asserts that paying attention to code quality helps developers focus every day on the key principles, patterns, and practices expert developers use. Even more, if you don’t pay attention to critical code quality attributes, iterative development practices can quickly degrade code into a maintenance nightmare. Join David and your peers to take a deep dive into the code quality attributes that make software more maintainable and less bug friendly. Learn to create software that provides value now and, in addition, is easy to change and extend so it can continue to deliver value far into the future.
Ever growing software development needs and faster delivery cycles coupled with flat or shrinking IT budgets have brought many organizations to new agile and lean practices. Together, these disruptions are causing a sea of change in the application lifecycle management (ALM) landscape. Although management tools aren’t an explicit focus for most development teams, choosing the right tools for enterprise development is an important factor in keeping everyone productive. Monica Luke discusses the five key imperatives for ALM implementations: in-context collaboration, accelerating time to delivery with real-time planning, improving quality with lifecycle traceability, refining predictability with development intelligence, and reducing costs through continuous improvement. For each imperative, Monica offers concrete examples and lessons learned from real-world implementations. Don’t get lost in the weeds with an ALM tool.
The question of how much design to do up-front on a project is an engaging conundrum. Too much design often results in excess complexity and wasted effort. Too little design results in a poor architecture or insufficient system structures which require expensive rework and hurt more in the long run. How can we know the right balance of upfront design work versus emerging design approaches? Alan Shalloway shows how to use design patterns-coupled with the attitude from agile of “don’t build what you don’t need”-to guide your design efforts. The trick is to identify potential design alternatives, analyze how each may affect the system in the future, and then find the simplest approach for isolating those potential affects.
Although many software development teams rely on their QA/Test departments to uncover critical product defects near the end of development, we all recognize the inefficiency of this approach. It’s better to find and fix defects earlier in the software development process to save time and money in the long run! Colby Litnak explores key concepts that encourage and empower developers to take primary responsibility for producing quality software. As with a souped-up race car, developers need specially designed tools and practices when they are at the wheel: fail-fast frameworks, one-click test execution, automated defect prevention principles, automatic notifications of untested code, hurtful test failures, and much more. Discover the principles developers must embrace to produce high quality code the first time-before it goes to QA/Test.