personal improvement

Articles

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
Myth 31: I Don’t Have to Make the Difficult Choices

"Don't bring me problems; bring me solutions." Sound familiar? Sounds like a management cop out to Johanna Rothman. A primary purpose of managers is to help their teams perform to the best of their abilities, and that includes stepping up and making tough decisions to help solve problems.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

Better Software Magazine Articles

How to Prepare for ISTQB Exam

Michael Sowers provides advice on preparing for the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Manager Certification Exam.

Michael mdsowers1's picture Michael mdsowers1
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

Applying Emotional Intelligence to Testing
Slideshow

As test managers and test professionals we can have an enormous emotional impact on others. We're constantly dealing with fragile egos, highly charged situations, and pressured people playing a high-stakes game under conditions of massive uncertainty. We're often the bearers of bad news...

Thomas McCoy, Australian Department of Social Services
Innovation Thinking: Evolve and Expand Your Capabilities
Slideshow

Innovation is a word frequently tossed around in organizations today. The standard clichés are do more with less and be creative. Companies want to be innovative but often struggle with how to define, implement, prioritize, and track their innovation efforts. Using the Innovation...

Jennifer Bonine, tap|QA, Inc.
Growing into Leadership
Slideshow

Pete Walen is not going to tell you how to be a good test manager. Instead, Pete shares ideas on becoming a true leader. While some managers certainly are leaders, testers of all varieties and experience levels can become leaders. Developing technical leadership skills, regardless of job...

Peter Walen, Gordon Food Service
What’s Your Leadership IQ?
Slideshow

Have you ever needed a way to measure your leadership IQ? Or been in a performance review where the majority of time was spent discussing your need to improve as a leader? If you have ever wondered what your core leadership competencies are and how to build on and...

Jennifer Bonine, tap|QA, Inc.

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