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The Secret to Software Development[magazine]

In the wake of Rhonda Byrne's bestseller The Secret, Carol Dekkers examines whether the theories behind Byrne's blockbuster can be applied to software development. Can the Law of Attraction and positive energy really be all it takes for successful, positive project results—or is that just wishful thinking?

Carol Dekkers's picture Carol Dekkers
The Lecture[magazine]

Whether you're being admonished for having more than ten items in the express lane at the supermarket or you are telling off a tester for missing a bug, at some point we've all been on the giving and on the receiving end of The Lecture. We're all human and fallible. Isn't there a more effective (and mature) way to communicate when a problem arises?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Navigating the Installation[magazine]

If you've ever popped a CD into a drive and run an install for software you're about to test, then you might be performing installation testing indirectly. If not properly installed, an application could give false results for all other testing. A better strategy is to test the install process directly, which will give you greater confidence in the quality of your software.

Karen N. Johnson's picture Karen N. Johnson
Ready, Aim, Release[magazine]

Think you know what your customer wants? Can you afford to be wrong? Based on the concept of tracer ammunition, which allows a shooter to follow the path of a bullet toward its target and adjust his aim as needed, tracer bullet software development can help you better understand your users’ wants so you can build a product that hits the mark.

Jared Richardson's picture Jared Richardson
Skills for Software Smokejumpers[magazine]

Sometimes the only way to get a fire under control is to call in the smokejumpers. These specially trained firefighters parachute into a region to take on a blaze and contain it before any more damage is done. Some software development projects have smokejumpers, too. These professionals enter struggling projects midstream, assess the situation, and hopefully lead the team to a successful outcome.

Don Gray's picture Don Gray
Users We Don't Like[magazine]

Mom always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." But Michael Bolton made an interesting discovery when he asked testers to talk about users they don't like. While nobody likes a complainer, listening to what your users are saying--even if you don't like it--can help you spot problems you may have overlooked.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Sophie's Choice[magazine]

What do you do when your boss tells you to do something your conscience won't allow? Follow a test manager as she is faced with an ethical dilemma that forces her to pick between what is right and what will save her job. It's a tough position to be in, find out how to come through it with your head held high.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Make Reuse a Reality with STL Algorithms[magazine]

Good code is a beautiful thing--especially when you don't have to write it. While most of us are quick to use prepackaged containers such as vectors, lists, and maps in everyday programming, we often overlook algorithms as a reuse tool. Find out how standard template library algorithms, specifically, can put you on the road to reuse.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
How to Be Persuasive[article]

Successfully persuading others to adopt your point of view is a matter of neither magic nor luck. It's a skill and like any skill, improvement takes know—how, opportunity, and practice. In this column, Naomi Karten offers pointers to help you strengthen your persuasion skills.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
Lean Anti-Patterns and What to Do About Them[article]

When attempting to adopt best practices we often can't see the forest for the trees. We can see what we are doing wrong, but how will that help us to see what to do right? In this article, we will discuss a few common Lean Anti-Patterns. Anti-Patterns are commonly recurring practices that are counter productive. We call them "Anti-Patterns" because these anti-patterns result from violating Lean principles. Lean principles form the basis for Scrum practices. Looking at how Lean Anti-Patterns violate lean principles gives us insight into how we need to modify our practices to be more effective.

Alan Shalloway's picture Alan Shalloway
Piles of Sand, Redux: Why Compilers Miscalculate Floating Point Numbers[magazine]

In this continuation of his June 2007 article on floating-point numbers, Chuck Allison explains why certain compilers miscalculate sin(x) for large arguments and why some get it right. He also divulges that floating-point spacing is the key to getting the most from numeric computations.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
Extreme Programming Is People[magazine]

Agile agents of change, listen up. Do you remember the Agile Manifesto? How about the part about valuing people over process? J.B. Rainsberger fears that as Extreme Programming becomes more widespread, teachers, consultants, and mentors are losing sight of one of agile’s most important components—teamwork.

J.B. Rainsberger's picture J.B. Rainsberger
Kicking Off the Slow Software Movement[magazine]

Do your team members jump into a project with both feet before they fully understand what problem they are trying to solve? We’ve all been convinced that for our customers faster is better. But is that really what they want? Jeff Patton thinks it’s time for us to slow down and focus on the quality of our products.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Games Stakeholders Play[magazine]

Activity theory explores what is happening inside a person while he is acting. Find out how you can use it to make better decisions about what to build, create a motivation map, and ask what your stakeholders are thinking about besides using your system.

Alistair Cockburn's picture Alistair Cockburn
Small Releases Big Returns[magazine]

Many teams work on several projects simultaneously, which is a mistake. By working on one project at a time and releasing early and often, you can achieve startling improvements in value for your stakeholders.

James Shore's picture James Shore

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