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TimeLine Postmortems[article]

We should use project postmortems to improve our software process. But few teams do, and fewer teams reliably learn from project postmortems. You can introduce postmortems to your team easily with a timeline postmortem process. If you are already doing postmortems, a timeline-based approach may improve your results.
This process:

  • Takes little time (a few hours).
  • Has a high degree of software engineer acceptance.
  • Provides immediate feedback into your development process.
  • Increases team cohesion and rapport.
  • Reduces finger pointing.
Seth Morris's picture Seth Morris
Not Your Father's Test Automation[article]

If you think that test automation is mostly about executing tests, then you're missing out on a big opportunity. Or rather, you're missing a lot of small opportunities adding up to a big one. Consider this: stop thinking about test automation as merely executing automated tests, stop thinking about test automation as something you need expensive tools for, and start discovering automation you can implement in a couple of days and usually with extremely inexpensive tools or tools you already have available. In this week's column, Danny Faught and James Bach suggest taking a more Agile approach to test automation.

James Bach's picture James Bach
Alter Your Requirements Process[magazine]

Fashioning a new requirements method is an almost impossible task, given budget and time constraints. But that doesn't mean you have to be stuck with an ill-fitting process. Learn about seven alterations that almost any organization can make.

Dion Johnson's picture Dion Johnson
My Mentor: The Internet[magazine]

You've got no training budget. The old-timers in your organization are taking early-retirement packages. You know the basics, but feel like there's no one to teach you all the nuances of the trade. Have you considered turning to an unconventional mentor? Maybe the Internet? It sure worked for Danny Faught. Read all about how the Internet changed his career—-for the better.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
Keeping Secrets[article]

Test data has long been a challenge for testing; privacy legislation, identify theft, and the continued trend towards outsourcing has made it even worse. Just establishing and maintaining a comprehensive test environment can take half or more of all testing time and effort. In this column, Linda Hayes adds in the new and expanding privacy laws that inevitably limit your testing options. Yet from the quagmire of laws and company standards, better testing can emerge.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
Bumper Stickers for Testers[article]

Why is software testing perceived as dull? How many other jobs can list "crash," "hang," and "death march" in their daily vocabularies? In this week's column, Harry Robinson encourages testers to embrace a little pride and excitement in what they do, and Harry has just the mottos for bumper stickers that announce Tester Pride. Author's note: Feel free to add your own favorite slogan in the comment section at the end!

Harry Robinson's picture Harry Robinson
Thinking Inside the Box[article]

The problem with urging outside-the-box thinking is that many of us do a less-than-stellar job of thinking inside the box. We often fail to realize the options and opportunities that are blatantly visible inside the box that could dramatically improve our chances of success. In this column, Naomi Karten points out how we fall victim to familiar traps, such as doing things the same old (ineffective) way or discounting colleague and teammate ideas. Thinking outside of the box can generate innovative and ingenious ideas and outcomes, but the results will flop when teammates ignore the ideas inside the box.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
The Enemy Within[magazine]

Not all threats come from outsiders. In an era of downsizing, layoffs, and pay cuts, sometimes it's your own disgruntled employees (or ex-employees) who are targeting you. Get some tips to help you protect your software from sabotage.

Clarke Ching's picture Clarke Ching
Spy Games[magazine]

Get the software engineering slant on items from the recent news.

Heather Shanholtzer's picture Heather Shanholtzer
Damage Control[magazine]

Turn to The Last Word, where software professionals who care about quality give you their opinions on hot topics. This month, read why perhaps software should come equipped with seat belts and an air bag.

Eric Rescorla's picture Eric Rescorla
Trust Everyone, but Cover Your Assets[magazine]

Need a place to go to get the solutions you've been craving? Management Fix is what you've been looking for. In this issue, find out how to manage when you suspect someone on your team may have been stealing from the company.

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
A Killer Bug for the New Millenium[magazine]

We're pleased to bring you technical editors who are well respected in their fields. Get their take on everything that relates to the industry, technically speaking. In this issue, find out why our guest editor thinks he's found the bug that will once again bring testers to the forefront—a bug that dwarfs Y2K and could put big, rich software companies out of business.

James Whittaker's picture James Whittaker
Case Your Own Joint[magazine]

Hackers are going to probe your system looking for weak spots and holes. What will they find? Learn how to uncover your own security vulnerabilities before the bad guys do.

Chris Wysopal's picture Chris Wysopal
Getting to the Root of Software Security[magazine]

Vendors try to protect their source code from would-be attackers, but it takes only one chink in the armor for a good reverse engineer to penetrate all the defenses so carefully put in place. Find out how to methodically uncover patterns to help you predict where the attacks will be focused and how they will be carried out.

T. B. Gillette's picture T. B. Gillette
Warning: Security Storm Brewing[magazine]

For too long now, consumers have been bailing, patching, and plugging their software each time a new security hole is discovered. And they've been absorbing the damage done by the leaks. A wave of security-conscious buyers is rising, demanding software that is sound and secure by design. Are you ready to give it to them? Find out why you should be.

Herbert H. Thompson's picture Herbert H. Thompson

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