software engineering

Articles

Avoiding the Organizational Death Spiral

The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.

Thomas Wessel's picture Thomas Wessel
How Agile Is Growing as It Goes into Its Teenage Years

Agile is growing up and is now officially a teenager. It has moved from being a somewhat rumbustious child with some overzealous followers and a skeptical management crowd to something that is generally accepted by the mainstream IT community and particular management. Has the agile community lost something? Are the founding members and early practitioners evolving the practice? Is this good? Well, the answers are yes, yes, and maybe.

jon hagar's picture jon hagar
The Three Amigos Strategy of Developing User Stories

Developing software correctly is a detail-oriented business. George Dinwiddie writes on how using the Three Amigos strategy can help you develop great user stories. Remember, the goal is to have the work done just in time for planning and development. It should be complete enough to avoid stoppages to build more understanding, but not so far in advance that the details get stale.

George Dinwiddie's picture George Dinwiddie
The Evolution of z/OS Development

Kristin Cowhey explains how z/OS development has evolved throughout the years and what that means for developers and tech personnel. With legacy developers leaving the workforce, there’s a dire need to replace the knowledge in order to maintain the mainframe systems and applications that are still in use today. 

Kristin Cowhey's picture Kristin Cowhey

Better Software Magazine Articles

Process Frameworks, Not Fixed Processes

The software development field has been consumed with process management ranging from inflexible, predictive waterfall all the way to self-governing, adaptable agile approaches. You probably already utilize a specific process methodology on your projects, but have you considered adopting an evolutionary learning cycle process framework instead?

Ryan Olivett's picture Ryan Olivett Bob Payne
Why Am I Always Getting Bad News in the Eleventh Hour?

This article is a departure from previous columns. Kenton and Ryan role play the stress and friction between a typical product manager and an engineering team lead. This article may make you squirm, but it brings out the issues of teams attempting to do the best thing from completely different perspectives.

Kenton Bohn's picture Kenton Bohn Ryan McClish
Is Software Configuration Management Technology Regressing?

There are ever-growing ways to organize your project assets with public domain configuration management tools. There's a mistaken belief that these free software configuration management (SCM) alternatives can be just as powerful as leading commercial tools.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
The Rules for Writing Maintainable Code

We've all been burned working with software code that, if not designed for long-term maintainability, results in expensive support over a product's lifetime. Kaushal explores three approaches that provide guidelines to ensure that software is designed with maintainability in mind. If you're a software developer, read this!

Kaushal Amin's picture Kaushal Amin

Interviews

How Agile Impacts Configuration Management and Testing: An Interview with Steve Berczuk
Video

Steve Berczuk is a regular contributor to TechWell and StickyMinds and a principal engineer and ScrumMaster at Fitbit in Boston. In this interview, Steve discusses configuration management and agile, helpful tools, and how testing has evolved over the years with the rise of agile.

Jonathan Vanian's picture Jonathan Vanian
Why Classic Software Testing Doesn’t Work Anymore: An Interview with Regg Struyk
Podcast

With twenty years of commercial software development and testing experience, Regg Struyk has developed for several software testing tools including test integrity, iTest, and Polarion QA. Regg is continually analyzing testing trends and their potential impact on software 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
An Interview with Better Software Magazine Editor Ken Whitaker

We'd like to introduce the newly appointed editor of Better Software magazine, Ken Whitaker. Ken has a long history in software and is a great addition to the team. If you're interested in writing for Better Software, drop Ken a line. His contact info can be found in this interview

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst

Conference Presentations

Problem Solving and Decision Making in Software Development
Slideshow

Unfortunately, those of us who struggle with complex problems for a living don't have time to keep up with the enormous amount of cognitive science research that could help us become better thinkers, better problem solvers, and better decision makers. Having devoted more than ten years...

Linda Rising, Independent Consultant
Twelve Heuristics for Solving Tough Problems—Faster and Better
Slideshow

As infants, we begin our lives as problem solving machines, learning to navigate a strange and complex world in which others communicate in ways we don’t understand. Initially, we hone our problem solving talents; then many of us find our explorations thwarted and eventually stop using...

Payson Hall, Catalysis Group Inc.
Twelve Risks to Enterprise Software Projects—And What to Do about Them
Slideshow

Every large software project is unique—each with its own complex array of challenges. When projects get into trouble, however, they often exhibit similar patterns, and succumb to risks that could have been anticipated and prevented—or detected sooner and managed better. 

Payson Hall, Catalysis Group, Inc.
Patterns for Collaboration: Toward Whole-Team Quality
Slideshow

A lot of talk goes on in agile about how collaboration among team members helps drive a shared responsibility for quality—and more. However, most teams don't do much more than just hold stand-up meetings and have programmers and testers sit together. Although these practices improve...

Janet Gregory, DragonFire Inc. & Matt Barcomb, odbox

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