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Architectural Envisioning on Agile Projects[article]

One of the common misperceptions with agile software development is that agilists don't "do architecture." This completely ignores the 11th principle of the Agile Manifesto which states that the best architectures evolve over time. In this article Scott Ambler overviews an agile practice called "architecture envisioning" which enables you to gain the value from modeling without the cost of needless documentation.

Scott W. Ambler's picture Scott W. Ambler
Opening the Door to Better Open Door Policies[article]

Many managers claim to have an open-door policy. They want to be available to their employees. But do they really have an open-door policy, or is it a handy name for a commendable intention? Naomi Karten describes the flaws in open-door policies and offers suggestions for making them work.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Software Quality and the Prisoner's Dilemma[magazine]

This industry spin on the classical dilemma illustrates the games we play when software quality is at stake and gives insight into why software managers who forego quality in order to reach a short-term marketing advantage are actually acting rationally.

Paco Hope's picture Paco Hope
A ''D'' in Programming[magazine]

In certain company, the topic of favorite programming languages can elicit the same response as other taboo subjects, such as religion and politics. But, Chuck's going out on a limb to discuss his new favorite language, D, and some of its best features, such as its being strongly typed and compiling to native code, yet it is garbage collected.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
A Change Would Do You Good[magazine]

Visit any bookstore these days, and you will be faced with shelves of books whose titles claim they can make everything—from cooking to exercise—more interesting. In our industry, boredom is a problem that can affect your ability to solve complex technical problems. Discover how change can spice up your software processes.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
Where Do I Go From Here?—Professional Growth for Software Testers[magazine]

Most professionals have a detailed career ladder upon which to climb and grow their careers. But in many test organizations that ladder has only one rung—and it leads to management. If management isn't your path of choice, these tips can help you market yourself and add value to your career while you build your own technical career ladder.

Matt Heusser's picture Matt Heusser
Developers ... Start Your Engines: Reuse with Source Code Searches[magazine]

Source code search engines can help you find chunks of reusable code. These search engines differ from generic text search engines by organizing the results to reflect the way code is organized—into functions, classes, packages, etc. These reviews of some popular engines can help you rev up reuse in your work.

Alan Berg's picture Alan Berg
Incremental and Iterative Development[magazine]

People get wrapped around the axle trying to understand the difference between incremental and iterative development. The Unified Process authors in the 1990s didn't help by indiscriminately calling everything iterative development. The two are different and must be managed differently. Successful teams do both at the same time, usually without thinking about it. Then someone starts thinking about it and does one without the other. Bad news follows.

Alistair Cockburn's picture Alistair Cockburn
Learning the Hardware Lessons[magazine]

Systems and software aren't just about correctness; they are also about solving problems for people. According to the context-driven software testing movement, a problem isn't solved if the product doesn't work. Michael's experience in a hardware store drives that lesson home.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
The Art of Persuading Management[magazine]

You can't get your manager to give you what you want if he won't listen to you. Naomi suggests some strategies-including being methodical, gathering data, properly timing your requests, and practicing what you plan to say-that can help you make your case to the powers that be.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Project Negotiations and the Iron Triangle[article]

Negotiation skills are useful in life and essential for professional success. This week, Payson Hall provides a short tutorial on project negotiations that includes a technique to help you look for solutions. The use of motivation and the "Iron Triangle" is a good starting point.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
An Uncomfortable Truth about Agile Testing[article]

One characteristic of agile development is continuous involvement from testers throughout the process. Testers have a hard and busy job. Jeff has finally starting to understand why testing in agile development is fundamentally different.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Modern Distributed Teams[magazine]

Traditionally, managing distributed teams has been perceived as difficult. But the advent of effective modern processes and tools is breaking through the obstacles and making distributed teams a viable—and valuable—option. Find out how to make the most of people, processes, and tools to create and maintain a successful distributed team.

Chris McMahon's picture Chris McMahon
How Much Is Enough?—Exploring Exploratory Software Testing[magazine]

Exploratory testers design and execute tests in the moment, starting with an open mission and investigating new ideas as they arise. But how do we know when to stop? The first step is to recognize that we can't know when we're done, because any approach to answering the stopping question is necessarily heuristic.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
What's In a Word?[magazine]

Evolution of a word's meaning through common misuse is a reality of human communication. In the software industry, by using the phrase quality assurance to refer to what is more properly called quality control (i.e., testing), we may have lost our ability to answer the question "does our process work?"

Antony Marcano's picture Antony Marcano

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