The Latest

Lessons Learned in Close Quarters Combat[magazine]

Few would think that the tactics employed by military and law-enforcement Special Forces to breach buildings under siege bears any relation to software project teams. After a number of weekends training with ex-military and ex-law-enforcement Special Forces—just for fun—Antony Marcano draws a surprising parallel between the dynamics of modern Special Forces "room-clearing" methods and the dynamics of modern software development teams.

Antony Marcano's picture Antony Marcano
The Key to Good Interviewing[magazine]

The foundation of any successful assessment is interviewing a diverse cross section of the staff. But asking the right questions and asking those questions right makes all the difference in the quality of information you can elicit from your interviewees.

Robert Sabourin's picture Robert Sabourin Lee Copeland
Six Thinking Hats for Testers[magazine]

Fresh ideas can provoke us into discovering great insights: Six thinking hats did just that for Julian Harty, who then applied them to software testing with great success. He, and tens of others, has found the thinking hats easy to use, practical, and very productive. Read on to find out how you can apply them to your work.

Julian Harty's picture Julian Harty
What's a Manager to Do?[magazine]

Self-organizing teams still need managers. But those managers need to rethink how they do their jobs and consider how much self-management the team can take on. Finding the sweet spot between hands on and hands off is the key.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
A Map by Any Other Name[magazine]

A mapping illustrates a relationship between two things. In testing, a map might look like a road map, but it might also look like a list, a chart, a table, or a pile of stories. We can use any of these to help us think about test coverage.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Don't Fear the Repartee[magazine]

Conflict reduces people's productivity and generosity toward the organization and their coworkers. These four steps can help defuse a conflict situation and improve the chances for a solution that at the least, both parties can live with.

Nance Goldstein's picture Nance Goldstein
Train Wreck Spotting[magazine]

An oft-overlooked goal of encapsulation is to simplify usage. Without this sensibility, classes can end up with simplistic interfaces and callers can end up with method-call pile-ups.

Kevlin Henney's picture Kevlin Henney
Little Scrum Pigs and the Big, Bad Wolf[article]

While continuing to grow, the state of agile adoption seems to be plucked straight out of an Ayn Rand novel, where the acceptance of mediocrity has infected the masses like a plague. Half-hearted adoptions have led to half-hearted results (as in "we suck less") that in turn are leaving these organizations straddling a tipping point from which they more often than not slide backwards, rather than making the push over the top to high performance and exponential growth in ROI.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
Simple Strategies to Keep Quality Visible[article]

In most projects, testers are the keepers of quality. Sharing the vision of quality with the entire team helps everyone involved in a project play a more active role in determining the state of quality in a product. In this column, Jeff Patton shares several innovative ideas he's seen in practice lately that have helped an entire team own up to the quality of its software.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Agile 2008 - Emily and Geoff Bache - Programming with the Stars and the TextTest framework[article]

Bob speaks with Emily and Geoff Bache at the Agile 2008 conference.

Bob Payne's picture Bob Payne
Getting Started with Agile SCM[article]

A prerequisite to any of the Agile SCM practices, such as integration build, private build, unit tests, and the like, is being able to set up a developer’s private workspace with the right code and tools so that you can code, build and test. In this article, we discuss the important, and often overlooked process of creating a development workspace, which is to say, getting started.

Agile Testing: Asking the Right Questions[article]

Good testers don't just question the final product. They question the product before work has even started and while it is being developed. And they also challenge the team itself. While this is true of many traditional testers, These lines of questioning to be more prevalent on agile teams because a "whole team" mentality is encouraged and quality is a team responsibility.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
The Criteria for Choosing a Successful Scrum Pilot[article]

Ask any Scrum trainer and they'll tell you the same thing: Adopting Scrum is hard. There are many reasons for this. Chief among them is that Scrum is so dramatically different—in terms of practices and principles—from traditional project management paradigms that it requires team members to truly reorient their attitudes and working behaviors. One common way to initiate a Scrum transformation is through a pilot project. But even then, how does a team that's never used Scrum before tell if a project is a strong candidate for a successful pilot?

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Task Estimation: Do or Don't?[article]

Lately I've noticed a fair amount of discussion surrounding the utility of task estimation. The question seems to be: is it really useful to estimate the time required to complete tasks, or is it unnecessary and counter productive to estimate such small units of work? If we're already using some form of estimation for stories, is task estimation really all that useful, or is it in fact thinly veiled micro-management?

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
The Invisible Project Manager[article]

An Exercise in Agile Facilitation

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC).

The project manager leads. The project manager directs. The project manager plans. The project manager manages. These are the expectations set upon, and sought out by those that take on the responsibility for delivering software projects to the Business. While unquestionably a critical role in the overall delivery mechanism, a project manager who becomes the central figure in the team can unnecessarily place the team in a position of risk. In fact, the project manager should approach the process with a less intrusive style, facilitating the team towards success from within and figuring out ways to develop systems that will survive any one person, themselves included.

Mack Adams's picture Mack Adams


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