The Latest

How Not to Create Customer Satisfaction[article]

Given a choice, most people would rather have happy, satisfied customers than angry, complaining customers. But how to create customer satisfaction is sometimes a mystery. In this column, Naomi Karten describes one person's experience that backfired and taught him some lessons.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Lost in Translation[article]

Some lessons are so important that we get opportunities to learn them again and again. In this week's column, Payson Hall attends a project meeting where he relearns an important communication lesson about the meaning of words.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Top-Down Agile Adoption Strategies[article]

This article covers the challenges that organizations may face and also recommends possible "top down" solutions that could help in quickly adopting agile.

Feedback without Fear[magazine]

Does the word "feedback" make you cringe? How about "configuration management"? Steve Berczuk has a pain-free plan for using your build environments and software configuration management system to provide the feedback that is essential to a successful agile project.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
Analysis Paralysis and the Law of Imperfect Plans[magazine]

Humans don't handle complexity well, and we certainly can't see the future—which helps explain why our plans and designs so often are flawed. In response to this truth, our guest technical editor offers Payson’s Law of Imperfect Plans. Embracing this law can help you avoid the dreaded analysis paralysis and accept that perfection just isn't possible.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
A Classic Example[magazine]

Many systems architects have a technology—centric view of service-oriented architecture. This article emphasizes the need to understand the business side of SOA before tackling the technology and illustrates this need with a look back in time.

Dan North's picture Dan North
Testing Around the World[magazine]

These days outsourcing is a pretty familiar concept in this industry. Has globalization hit your company yet? Naomi Mitsumori has been involved in sending testing work offshore, and she has six suggestions that can help you successfully manage the transition.

Naomi Mitsumori's picture Naomi Mitsumori
The QA Catchall[magazine]

Pssst. You with the QA hat on. Would you be surprised to learn that you probably don't work in a QA department? Find out why what you are doing may not be QA, and discover some practices you can implement to insure that A really does stand for assurance in your organization.

Alan S. Koch's picture Alan S. Koch
Attack of the Fifty-Foot Favors[magazine]

When your boss constantly has you doing favors for another group, it can get in the way of fulfilling your own responsibilities. Find out how defining your work mission to your manager and illustrating how "small" favors potentially cut into company revenue can help to get everyone on the same page.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
When in Doubt, Reframe[magazine]

One often overlooked testing skill is understanding what our clients are saying--in addition to the words that actually come out of their mouths. Sometimes reframing a seemingly irrational response can lead to a higher level of communication and a more productive relationship.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Indulge in Code Review[magazine]

Code review is one quality initiative you can't afford to skip. Don't have time for a full-blown, line-by-line review? No problem. Discover how even something as simple as a peer review can benefit your project and ultimately improve your code.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding
Fast, Automatic Builds: the Agile Heartbeat[article]

I think that the person most affected by the introduction of agile or extreme programming techniques is not the software or quality assurance engineer, but the build manager. Agile techniques are a throwback to the age when developers were able to work on small projects in small teams. Each developer once again concentrates on small building blocks of code and integrates regularly with other developers to ensure that the overall software project is progressing. For developers, agile techniques are a natural fit because they reflect how developers like to work best: on small, manageable pieces of code with regular feedback. However, even though developers are working on small sections of code, their overall projects are now large and continually growing. And it's the large body of code that the build manager is expected to work with, not the manageable chunks. While daunting, this precipitous increase in builds can be managed by carefully implementing continuous integration and making fast, automatic builds the quot;heartbeatquot; of your agile development.

John Graham-Cumming's picture John Graham-Cumming
What's Your Project Vision?[article]

Clarify the fuzzy front end of project planning by focusing on the overall vision. In this column, Johanna Rothman says clear project vision helps everyone involved in the project move forward better and more smoothly than a detailed project schedule. She also explains how to write succinct project visions in three simple steps.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Rising Above the 7 Percent Rule[magazine]

Afraid of what you're missing by testing only 7 percent of your code? Forget your formal code inspections; Jason Cohen enlightens us on the merits of bringing lightweight code inspection to your organization.

Jason Cohen's picture Jason Cohen
Evidence for Evolution[magazine]

What important lessons can we learn from the evolution of the programming language Lisp? Brian Marick recounts the environment that enabled its creation and recommends we incorporate some of the Lisper practices into our own projects.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick

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