reviews

Articles

Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?

We may be creatures of habit—adhering to and promoting processes we know well—but we also habitually look to other work environments that appear capable of nurturing our ideas once an old environment becomes depleted. Ed Weller believes that searching for greener pastures is unnecessary. You just need to learn how to cultivate your managers in order to create an environment that will harbor your ideas. Ed explains why you'll end up grazing fruitlessly if you can't plant your ideas with management.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Detecting Great Testers before the In-Person Interview

Resumes only tell a portion of a candidate's story just like caller ID doesn't always reveal the caller's complete identity. Screening candidates over the phone can help extract more of the person's story if you ask the right questions. In this column, Johanna Rothman shares phone-screening techniques she uses to detect great potential testers. This process of elimination saves her valuable time and ensures only qualified candidates make it to the in-person interview.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

Better Software Magazine Articles

Taking the Risk: Exploration over Documentation

The loudest voice in the room might push for a stable, predictable, repeatable test process that defines itself up front, but each build is different. An adaptive, flexible approach could provide better testing in less time with less cost, more coverage, and less waste.

Matt Heusser's picture Matt Heusser
Prepare to Succeed

Another pair of eyes will find bugs, but code reviews are traditionally time consuming and painful. Learn how modern, lightweight techniques make code reviews effective and practical.

Jason Cohen's picture Jason Cohen
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
Indulge in Code Review

Code review is one quality initiative you can't afford to skip. Don't have time for a full-blown, line-by-line review? No problem. Discover how even something as simple as a peer review can benefit your project and ultimately improve your code.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding

Conference Presentations

Sprint Reviews that Attract, Engage, and Enlighten Stakeholders
Slideshow

Are you suffering from chronic disinterest in what your team is delivering? Are your product owners unavailable or distracted? Are your sprint reviews ho-hum experiences with low attendance? If you answered Yes to any of these questions, your agile teams are in trouble-and you need to attend this session. Experienced agile coach Bob Galen explores real-world patterns for how to increase the interest in-and the energy and value of-your sprint reviews. First, Bob explains how to prepare properly, the keys to dry runs, and the role of a Master of Ceremonies. Then he examines ways to orchestrate pro-active reviews that include the whole team and engage your audience when demonstrating "working software." Next Bob discusses how to perform a review follow-up and gather feedback for high-impact improvements. Finally, Bob wraps up by exploring ways to make sprint reviews a centerpiece of your agile adoption and transformation.

Bob Galen, RGalen Counsulting Group, LLC
Performance Appraisals for Agile Teams

Traditional performance evaluations, which focus solely on individual performance, create a “chasm of disconnect” for agile team members. Because agile is all about team performance and trust, the typical HR performance evaluation system is not congruent with agile development. Based on his practical experience leading agile teams, Michael Hall explores how measurements drive behavior, why team measurement is important, what to measure, and what not to measure. Michael introduces tangible techniques for measuring agile team performance-end of sprint retrospectives, sprint and project report cards, peer reviews, and annual team performance reviews. To demonstrate what he’s describing, Michael uses role plays to contrast traditional, dysfunctional annual reviews with agile-focused performance reviews.

Michael Hall, WorldLink, Inc.
Evaluating the Quality of Requirements: A Primer for Independent Verification

Would you tell your publisher to stop editing in the middle of your manuscript and publish your novel now? Of course not! Then, why would you tell your QA/test team to stop identifying problems with requirements documentation? All deliverables—and especially requirements—should undergo a rigorous assessment based on their quality attributes and measurable evaluation criteria. Mark Haynes describes quality models and attributes he has used to evaluate requirements documents. He shows how you can detect imprecision-that will haunt you later-and remove it with a set of formal criteria and informal heuristics. Discover how you can use quality attributes, even subjective ones, to conduct a quality dialogue within the development team. Mark shares examples of poorly written requirements for you to evaluate and try your hand at improving.

Donald Haynes, Modis
Client Verficiation Sessions: A Low Cost, High Payback Approach

Want to improve the quality of your products? Of course you do. But how? Mette Bruhn-Pedersen uses a simple, but effective method that includes both clients and users in the development process. His company organizes and conducts verification sessions early in the development process. These sessions consist of two parts: First is a demonstration of the implemented functionality using test cases as examples; second is a "play" session in which the customer is given control of the system to explore the functionality from a business perspective. By observing the client, testers get a better understanding of what functionality is most important to the client as well as increasing their knowledge of the software's intended use. Sometimes, the clients find important, new defects during the session. And almost always, testers learn they need to add new test scenarios based on their observations during the play session.

Mette Bruhn-Pedersen, XponCard Service Systems

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