Better Software Articles

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Seasons of Software Development

In this installment of Management Chronicles, Peter Clark introduces us to a programmer who is trying unsuccessfully to complete a project mired in underestimation. Find out what you can do to keep your estimates in the free and clear.

Peter Clark's picture Peter Clark
The Roof Is Going to Go

As one poor German tourist can attest, idioms don't translate. But Chuck Allison thinks programmers should become "native speakers" of the programming languages they use. This includes using and understanding them, idioms and all.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
The Magic 8 Ball of Testing

Have you ever wished for a tool to help you define and refine requirements and make your programs more testable? OClear could be the tool you've been waiting for.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
The Death Spiral

Users don't have to be doomed to the nightmare of software fraught with defects that should have been fixed before release. Time spent testing now can save you from the Death Spiral later. Remember: If you don't have time to do it right, how will you have time to do it over . . . and over . . . and over?

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
The Exceptional Exception

So much more than a bucket for your errors, exceptions can be a valuable tool that lets you communicate to your clients not only that there is a problem but why and where the code failed.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding
There's Nothing Like the Real Thing

Ever wondered why one team's automated tests pass but your tests of the same software fail? Jonathan Kohl has an explanation. Perhaps we should all take a page from Marvin Gaye's songbook and test our project ideals in real-world environments. After all, "there ain't nothin' like the real thing."

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
The Ins and Outs of Integration Testing

Software integration is never an easy task, and a good integration testing process is the key to success. This introduction to integration testing will help you identify what to test, typical faults to look out for, and effective means to uncover these faults.

Hans Schaefer's picture Hans Schaefer
Solve the Real Problem: A Formula for Sustainable Solutions

There is more to software development problem solving than processes and tools. Discover a way to get to the heart of a problem with none of the hacks, shortcuts, and workarounds that have become the industry norm.

Tim Beck's picture Tim Beck
Beat the Odds

You know that old saying that the best way to schedule software development is to come up with your best guess and divide by three? In this article, Joel Spolsky explains how to take the guesswork out of estimations by simulating schedules and creating probability curves that are more than just a shot in the dark.

Joel Spolsky's picture Joel Spolsky
The Proof of the Pudding . . .

In this month's Test Connection Michael Bolton recounts a valuable lesson he learned early in his testing career: What's the best way to test a product? Use it yourself.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton

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