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Rocks into Gold: Part 4[article]

This short book by Clarke Ching is a "biztech" parable for software developers who want to survive—and then thrive—through the credit crunch. We have republished the book in a four-part-series. In part four, our characters pitch Bob's plan to MegaCorp. But will business politics get in the way of a good idea? Follow the story as our characters fight to keep their jobs by implementing creative business ideas and management skills taken from agile development.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Leap IT: Lean Accelerators for Productivity improvement in IT[article]

“Expectations from IT just keep increasing every single day “– this is a point of view echoed by several CIOs across the organizations all over the globe. Newer developments in IT like Social Networking, Green IT, Virtualization, and Business analytics are changing the way businesses are run.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
The Checklist Manifesto as Agile Primer[article]

Agile software development methods often have very few explicit processes. However, these processes are essential and require discipline to execute well. We're often tempted to skip steps, either because we think that the step doesn't apply in a particular situation or we forget to do it.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
What’s a Tester without a QA Team?[article]

When a tester joins an agile team, she leaves her Test or QA team behind. Often, her old QA team is disbanded altogether. Without the support of a QA team, she might feel abandoned, especially if she now reports to a development manager. She’s in danger of becoming isolated, having lost the phased and gated process that guided her old team. She may feel pushed to the sidelines and like she’s lost any control over quality.

Quality Management - Testing in the World of Scrum and Agile Product Development [article]

Does Quality Management have a place in agile product (system-software) development and delivery?

 

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
An Introductory Acceptance Test[article]

"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra

This article is an excerpt from Ken Pugh’s upcoming book – “Lean-Agile Acceptance Test Driven Development” to be published by Addison-Wesley. Debbie, the developer, and Tom, the tester, are introducing acceptance test-driven development to Cathy, the customer.

The Triad – Tom, Debbie, and Cathy – are in their second meeting together. Debbie describes an example of an acceptance test and four ways that an acceptance test can be executed.

 

Ken Pugh's picture Ken Pugh
Continuous Testing: Building Quality into Your Projects[article]

I buy new cars infrequently, typically every 10 to 12 years. So when I bought a new car in 2003 I was surprised at the many advances in technology since I’d purchased my previous car, a 1993 Honda. One advance I was particularly pleased with was a sensor that automatically detects low air pressure in my tires. It is sometimes hard to tell by looking at a tire if its pressure is low, and checking tires manually is a dirty job, so I did it infrequently. A continuous test of tire pressure was, I thought, a tremendous invention.

 

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Managing the Transition to Agile[article]

During these challenging economic times there is a dramatic increase in the need of organizations to adapt the software delivery lifecycle processes to the rapid changes often imposed on them. Leadership is making the decision to transition its development organization – not than just small teams but large numbers of engineers, working on a broad portfolio of development projects from many different locations around the world — to a more agile approach as part of an effort to vastly improve performance, be more responsive to customers and improve quality. However, there are many challenges that an established software organization faces when shifting to Agile.

 

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Getting the Product Backlog Ready for Sprint Planning[article]

Most sprint planning meetings I have attended were fun. The ones that weren’t involved a poorly groomed product backlog, whose high-priority items were not workable, not ready to be pulled into the sprint. When the backlog hasn’t been prepared prior to the meeting, the product owner and team often carry out impromptu grooming activities. These consume valuable planning time and usually result in poor requirements and weak commitments. Plus, everyone is fed up and exhausted by the end of the meeting. As a consequence, the product backlog items that are likely to be worked on in the next sprint have to be prepared prior to each sprint planning meeting. Although it is the product owner’s job to make sure that the work gets done, preparing the product backlog should be teamwork involving the product owner, ScrumMaster and team. We begin the preparation work by choosing a sprint goal.

 

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Software QA vs. Software Testing on Agile Development Projects[article]

Bob Small and Janet Gregory share their thoughts and experiences relating to the difference between software QA (quality assurance) and software testing on agile software development teams.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Agile Developer’s Journal: A Day in the Life[article]

People are creatures of habit, particularly programmers: We seek consistency, whether it is the tried-and-true waterfall/SDLC method or our morning routine of reading the newspaper with a hot cup of coffee. Companies or projects looking to adopt an agile process neglect the fundamental concern of an individual developer: "What will my day to day look like working in an agile environment?"

Geoffrey Bourne's picture Geoffrey Bourne
Agile Portfolio Management[article]

I've heard people criticize agile methods as being too reactive and focusing too much on the little picture and ignoring larger goals. This is a misunderstanding of a basic idea of agile. Agile methods are't about thinking small and taking small steps towards a goal, applying programming an management discipline along the way.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
The Unshreddable Résumé[magazine]

The recent economic downturn has record numbers of job seekers pounding the pavement. Find out what you need to include on your resume to increase your chances of getting out of the paper stack and into the building for that all-important interview.

Heather Shanholtzer's picture Heather Shanholtzer
Hidden Messages[magazine]

A defect management system contains data such as how many defects have been raised, the priority and severity of individual defects, and even who is raising them. This information is regularly used by program and test management to guide decision making. In this article, Dan Minkin proves that an experienced test manager can gather useful information by looking at more than just the defect management system's data.

Dan Minkin's picture Dan Minkin
Selling To Your Buyer[magazine]

No matter how well you've built it, no users will benefit from your product unless you can convince the buyers to purchase it. Selling to buyers is different than satisfying users—and you have to do both well to succeed. Consider the needs of the buyer as stakeholder. When you have no buyers, you have no users.

Scott Sehlhorst's picture Scott Sehlhorst

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