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Beyond Belief

Technical Editor Esther Derby talks about how unconscious beliefs, filters, and maps influence the way we react to situations and the conclusions we reach.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Thinking About Thinking

Esther Derby recommends The Logic of Failure and The Thinking Manager's Toolbox. Both authors share the same goal: helping you be a better problem solver. They stress the importance of recognizing the situation you're in, choosing an appropriate problem-solving strategy, and having the right thinking tools.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
I am a Bug, and Refactoring

Our editors recommend the books I am a Bug (a children's book written by a software development manager and tester to explain his job to his children) and Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (by Martin Fowler, with contributions by Kent Beck, John Brant, William Opdyke, and Don Roberts).

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Adaptive Software Development

Johanna Rothman recommends the book Adaptive Software Development by James Highsmith. She says, "Highsmith shows the reader how to recognize when development practices need to change and how to acquire the skills to adapt. For a fresh approach to software development, be sure to check it out."

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Detour Around Dead-end Bugs

Show-stopping failures in Web applications are all too common. One serious but easily avoidable failure is the "dead-end" bug, where a user is left staring at a blank screen without any clue about what went wrong. Derek Sisson describes different types of "dead-end" bugs and shows how to avoid them.

Derek Sisson's picture Derek Sisson
Software Requirements

Brian Lawrence and Johanna Rothman recommend Software Requirements by Karl Wiegers, a "readable, practical book about gathering and managing requirements, focused on best practices."

EXtreme Documentation

The kind of collaboration that Extreme Programming engenders can benefit both publications and development. Writing, like programming, is a naturally iterative, revisionary process. Dana De Witt Luther shares what she's learned about documenting an Extreme Programming project, using iterative planning meetings and story cards.

Dana De Witt Luther's picture Dana De Witt Luther
When Your Manager Is No Techie

It's a pretty good bet that at some point in your career you and your work will be managed by someone who doesn't really understand what you do. Here are some ways to close the communication gap when you have a nontechnical manager.

Alyn Wambeke's picture Alyn Wambeke
(Management) Process Improvement

Few people know intuitively how to manage process, projects, and people. Like anyone else learning a new skill, new managers need training, guidance, and mentoring. And just like technical staff, experienced managers need to keep their skills current and evolve with an evolving workplace. Technical Editor Esther Derby gives advice on how to develop your management abilities.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Reference Point: The Software Project Manager's Handbook

The Software Project Manager's Handbook is an excellent reference for the experienced or moderately experienced project managers who are looking to expand their "bag of tricks." Use this book as a reference to bone up on a specific topic, or use the case studies and questions to help you design and implement a feasible project plan.

Maureen A. O’Hara's picture Maureen A. O’Hara

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