personal improvement

Articles

BSC West 2015 Keynote: Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development

Software developer Laurent Bossavit delivered the second keynote presentation, about why we need to think more critically about software development. He began his presentation by saying his intention was to make you question what you know—or what you think you know.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik
What Does It Mean to Have an Agile Mindset?

There has been lots of talk about the “agile mindset,” but what does that mean? It does not merely encompass the skills that make a successful agile team member, but rather what drives a person to want to be part of an agile team. It should include the quest to learn (even when you fail) and leveraging what you learn to continuously improve on what you do.

Leanne Howard's picture Leanne Howard
An Innovation in Scrum Ceremonies: Peer Feedback

Traditionally, the project manager or ScrumMaster is responsible for evaluating a team's performance. But peer feedback, when each member of a team picks another member, observes him or her, and then shares thoughts and suggestions about that other team member’s work, can also be very valuable to continuous improvement.

Rajeev Gupta's picture Rajeev Gupta
Why Communication Is Key to the Agile Process

We should all be much more active about improving our communication skills to be better at our jobs, but also (and more importantly) to make the most of the people around us. Whether you’re giving or receiving information verbally or through writing, no matter what your job is, communication is key.

Emma Armstrong's picture Emma Armstrong

Better Software Magazine Articles

How to Prepare for ISTQB Exam

In this FAQ column, Michael Sowers provides advice on preparing for the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Manager Certification Exam.

Michael Sowers's picture Michael Sowers
Painful Lessons I Learned From Bootstrapping a Startup

If you are considering leaving the nest to self-fund your own endeavor, you may want to read about Mike Botsko's experience creating a cloud-based, bug-tracking app called Snowy Evening. What started out as a lot of fun quickly turned into a tough journey. Don't worry—it has a happy ending!

Mike Botsko's picture Mike Botsko
Motivating Teams In a Self-Organizing Environment

A key characteristic of agile is that a team self-organizes to best fit the workload. This, according to Maria Matarelli, can be more difficult than the more traditional approach of a project manager simply telling the team what to do.

Maria Matarelli's picture Maria Matarelli
Are You Done or Done-Done?

Probably one of the most frustrating roles a manager has to master is how to know the true status of work being performed. To a developer, completing 80 percent of the work may be good enough, but is it  even close to being really done? Masha Nehme shows techniques you can use to verify task completion.

Masha Nehme's picture Masha Nehme

Interviews

Executives’ Influence on Agile: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Interview with Steve Davi
Video

In this interview, Steve Davi talks about how executives can actually harm a company's agile transition. He covers how executives can and should take on a different role when agile is being adopted, and explains how employees can help the executive get engaged in the right way. 

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Make Agile Fun Again with Release!: An Interview with Alex Papadimoulis
Video

Alex Papadimoulis, the creator of Release!, an agile-based card game, sat down to talk about how gaming can strengthen a company's work culture and bring teams together, how Release! features industry practitioners and thought leaders, and the best conference swag he has ever gotten. 

Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose: An Interview with James Whittaker
Video

James Whittaker talks about two of his three separate presentations at the Agile Development Conference & Better Software Conference West 2014, "Giving Great Presentations: The Art of Stage Presence" and "Leadership and Career Success—On Purpose," as well as his legacy to testing. 

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds
For Maximum Awesome: An Interview with Joe Justice
Video

Joe Justice is a consultant at Scrum Inc. and inventor of the Extreme Manufacturing project management method. He also is the founder of Team WIKISPEED, an all-Scrum volunteer-based, "green” automotive prototyping company.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

Conference Presentations

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone―Now
Video

In an industry that continues to rapidly evolve, the pressure to increase our mastery can be overwhelming. Whether browsing the web or your organization's technical library, it's discouraging to realize that many of the skills you’ve mastered are now obsolete, replaced by...

Tricia Broderick
Toward a Well-Run, Cross-Functional, High-Performance Team
Slideshow

Behind every successful delivery to a customer, there is a well-run, cross-functional team. They trust each other; they work well together. Yet every team, agile or not, faces the challenges of building such a team. And, despite their best efforts, many teams fail in this attempt, never...

Fuming Ye, Pitney Bowes
You Said What? Becoming Aware of the Things We Say
Slideshow

Most of us take language for granted. We use words without thinking about how they may affect others and then are surprised at the reaction we get. Learn the importance of language in building and maintaining high performing agile teams. Become more aware of the words you choose and the...

Doc List, Doc List Enterprises
Gamification and Arbejdsglæde (Danish: Work Gladness/Joy)
Slideshow

You get paid for doing that? Is it possible to both work and have fun in a large corporate setting? Can joy be made part of the workplace? For the past few years Ryan Kleps and his colleagues have been conducting an informal social experiment using gamification (before they knew it had...

Ryan Kleps, Boeing IT

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