process improvement

Better Software Magazine Articles

QA Is Not Evil

A software tester re-examines the role of software testers in quality assurance work, helping implement software development processes. If testers are knowledgeable, helpful, and supportive, they may be in the best possible position to help the team improve its software development process.

Chris McMahon's picture Chris McMahon
Outside the Strike Zone

In a counterpoint to his previous Technically Speaking column, Lee explains why holding fast to one's beliefs is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Telling Better User Stories

While the idea of a user story is simple on the surface, there are challenges to working with them. User story mapping is a useful way to organize, decompose, and prioritize user stories.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Countdown to Agility

Jean Tabaka believes in the power of an entire agile organization. These ten characteristics of an agile organization may seem counter to market success, but she explores why they are wholly embedded in twenty-first century business success.

Jean Tabaka's picture Jean Tabaka
Scrumdamentalism

It's been said that, over time, charismatic movements often evolve to become "bureaucratic"—focused on a set of standardized procedures that dictate the execution of the processes within the movement. Has Scrum evolved to this point or is there still a place for agility in our processes?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
It Takes a Village

Pair programming is an Agile practice that has been shown to greatly improve code quality without a huge increase in development time. This article explains the ins and outs of pair programming and some things you need to consider before you tell team members to grab a partner and get programming.

Ronica Roth's picture Ronica Roth
How Agile Practices Reduce the Top 5 Requirements Risks

Requirements risks are among the most insidious risks threatening software projects. Whether it is having unclear requirements, lack of customer involvement in requirements development, or defective requirements, these troubles are a major culprit in projects that go awry. As requirements expert and agile coach Ellen Gottesdiener explains, agile practice can go a long way in mitigating the top five requirements risks.

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener
Adapting Inspections to the Twenty-first Century

How do you adapt inspections to a twenty-first century distributed workforce? A key part of the inspection process is the team meeting, which provides peer pressure to participate and consensus on defects. Teams working in multiple time zones have limited opportunities for the team meeting. A list of requirements and the functions needed to solve this problem based on real-world experiences should help anyone faced with this problem.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Putting the Kart before the Horse?

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."

Antony Marcano's picture Antony Marcano
Time to Let Go of Obsolete Jobs

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.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland

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