Better Software Articles

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Are You Listening?

Chances are you won't be able to deliver on everything your customer wants. Asking good questions at the beginning of a project can help you determine where your customer wants to go. Although you may not be able to give them everything they want, if you are able to deliver the top ten things on a list of fifty items you've still delivered value. Keeping the lines of communication open is essential to helping you achieve your project goal.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Productivity Factor

How effectively and efficiently your team functions can make the difference between project success and project failure. Once a decision-making process is established, it is up to the project manager to hold the team accountable to the process. Over time, processes can stagnate and lose their relevance. The project manager should continually monitor the process for applicability and make adjustments where necessary. Learn how to leverage your team's performance through process, structure, and team leadership.

Geof Lory's picture Geof Lory
Metrics That Matter

Metrics are only worthwhile if you review and use them. Do your quality reports go directly from the inbox to the trash can? A quality metrics program can be a great asset to your organization. Engineering, sales, and the company overall can benefit from having such a program. This article will help you explore ways to make measurements meaningful outside of QA.

Marsha Holliday's picture Marsha Holliday
Deconstructing GUI Test Automation

Window mapping gives elements specific names so tests are easier to update and understand. Task libraries group sequences of steps that make up part of user tasks when those sequences show up in multiple tests. Data-driven test automation separates the parameters of a test case from the test script so that the test script can be reused for many related tasks. Keyword-driven test automation formats tests as tables or spreadsheets and creates parsers to read and execute the test descriptions. Take advantage of these four techniques to help you test a graphical user interface, and see how developers can make your life easier.

Bret Pettichord's picture Bret Pettichord
A Calculated Gamble

Starting a project without considering the risks is quite a gamble. Learn how to increase your odds through the practice of good risk management. Effective organizations recognize that bad stuff may happen during a project. Risk management is about anticipating what might happen, examining and prioritizing those possible bad events, and figuring out what to do about them. In this article, review the Risk Management Glossary and discover remedies to risks that may help you prevent many common problems.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Making Virtual Teams a Reality

What all virtual teams have in common is that they are working on a project, but may not be located in close physical proximity, and they must find ways to communicate, track progress, and manage tasks without being able to physically meet regularly. The prerequisites for success with virtual teams are 1) clear, manageable objectives; 2) management's commitment to necessary resources; and 3) mature management and technical personnel. Learn how to lead a workgroup you cannot see.

Linda McInnis's picture Linda McInnis
Mastering the Discipline of Testing

Becoming a master software tester requires training. We are not artists whose brains are wired at birth to excel in quality assurance. Uncomfortable with labeling software testing as either an "art" or a "craft," Dr. James Whittaker makes his case for testing as a discipline to be mastered.

James Whittaker's picture James Whittaker
A Look at the Performance Testing Aspect of TeamTest from Rational

Jonathan Harris looks at performance testing with Rational TeamTest, including its capturing ability, data correlation ability, scripting language, recording response time, and scalability.

Jonathan Harris's picture Jonathan Harris
Advance Your Career--Get Involved

Professional development activities can help you stay competitive in the marketplace. Eric Patel describes ways you can benefit from extracurricular career activities such as volunteering, joining professional associations, attending and speaking at conferences, and pursuing continuing education.

Eric Patel's picture Eric Patel
It's in the Bag

Kristi Wheeler wanted to create a forum in which all of the testers in her company could come together to talk about their skills, learn more about testing, and bring individual experiences into a group setting. Here, she describes how she started up brown bag groups for testers and developers in her organization–and how you can start them in your own company.

Kristi Wheeler's picture Kristi Wheeler

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