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Learning from Experience: Software Testers Need More than Book Learning[magazine]

People often point to requirements documents and process manuals as ways to guide a new tester. Research into knowledge transfer, as described in The Social Life of Information, suggests that there is much more to the process of learning. Michael Bolton describes his own experiences on a new project, noting how the documentation helped ... and didn't.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Resistance Is Futile[magazine]

Why do so many people resist change, even when that change will be for the better? It's simple, really. Every change ends something, and endings mean loss. People don't like loss. Even the best changes mean something familiar will end.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
What's It Mean? ...Reducing Imprecision to Improve Verification[magazine]

Imprecise language makes understanding and, therefore, software verification more difficult. This article describes techniques for detecting and repairing vague and ambiguous software requirements.

David Gelperin's picture David Gelperin
Navigating Conflict[magazine]

On good agile teams, conflict is frequent and viewed as normal. On great agile teams, conflict is constant and welcome as a catapult to high performance. What can we do to help teams chart their course through conflict so that it turns into a constructive force for greatness?

Lyssa Adkins's picture Lyssa Adkins
Understanding Software Performance Testing Part 1[magazine]

Most people don't fully understand the complexities and scope of a software performance test. Too often performance testing is assessed in the same manner as functional testing and, as a result, fails miserably. In this four-part series we will examine what it takes to properly plan, analyze, design, and implement a basic performance test. This is not a discussion of advanced performance techniques or analytical methods; these are the basic problems that must be addressed in software performance testing.

Dale Perry's picture Dale Perry
Are You Listening?[article]

Some people freely admit that they're not good listeners. But many who claim to be good listeners aren't. That's because they fall short in a critical aspect of listening. In this week's column, Naomi Karten offers ideas and examples that will help you be-and be perceived as-a good listener.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Coaching and Producing[article]

David Hussman applies lessons he learned as a music producer to his current position as an agile coach. An excerpt of this article was originally published in the March 2009 issue of the Iterations eNewsletter.

David Hussman's picture David Hussman
What Software Developers Can Learn from Their Cafeteria[article]

Did you know that Starbucks sells a cup size called "short"? It's a small cup that is less expensive than the other cup sizes. They never mention it on their menu; you have to know it exists before you can order one. Why? By having a smaller, cheaper option, they give their budget-conscious customers an opportunity to pay for coffee rather than go without. This kind of thinking has important repercussions to software developers.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Refactoring Doesn’t Mean Rewrite[article]

Peter Schuh writes that it is not a good thing that the use of the term refactoring has grown so common, which makes him cringe every time he hears a business person say the word. Refactoring is meant to be one skill of many that is second-nature to a journeyman programmer.

Peter Schuh's picture Peter Schuh
Enterprise Agile: Yes, Your Whole Company Can Adopt Agile[article]

About 12 months ago, our company started an initiative to adopt agile practices across our entire organization—not only our software development organization, but our business organization. For years we had experienced outstanding results by utilizing Scrum for our clients' application development projects. Team productivity improved, executive visibility strengthened, and overall quality increased. Our goal was to capture similar results for our business. Find out how we're doing!

Melissa Meeker's picture Melissa Meeker
Six Ways to Build Trust and Three Ways to Break It[article]

Esther Derby has been thinking about trust in the workplace a lot lately, and the absence of trust, too. When she asks people what it's like to work in a group where people trust their managers, they tell her information flows freely, conflict is productive, and that they can tell their managers what they think without fear of retribution. On the other hand, when trust is absent, people hide information, look out for themselves, don't bring up new ideas, and withhold effort.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Reloadable Test Data-O-Matic[magazine]

Reloadable test data takes more time up front (as compared to on-the-fly data creation), but saves blood, sweat, and tears in the long term. It also virtually eliminates "works on my machine" bugs, creates a more intricate and realistic environment, and is the first step on the road to test automation.

Tanya Dumaresq's picture Tanya Dumaresq
Off the Trails[magazine]

A focused approach toward testing a product is important, but sometimes we discover information that we didn't anticipate at all. One of the key skills in testing is dynamically managing our focus; sharpening it sometimes and widening it at other times. If we vary our approaches, we might find something surprising and broaden our coverage.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
The Missing Measurement[magazine]

In these times, many of us are being told to "do more with less." A more useful approach is "invest our organization's scarce resources where the return is the greatest." To do so, we must define the financial benefits sought when developing a system in addition to its requirements.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Building a Foundation for Structured Requirements[magazine]

Aspect-oriented requirements engineering (AORE) is a new methodology that can help us to further improve the analysis, structure, and cost of development of software requirements. The second part of this two-part series focuses on the AORE specification techniques.

Yuri Chernak's picture Yuri Chernak

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