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Reference Point: Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations

Don Gray recommends Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations by Robert D. Austin. The book is not a five-step program toward measurement success; instead, it gives an in-depth look at what makes or breaks measurement systems. The book presents information in an intuitive way; if you understand algebra and simple logic, you will understand what Austin is presenting.

Don Gray's picture Don Gray
On the Cost of Quality

Technical Editor Brian Lawrence explains four types of costs of quality: prevention, appraisal, internal failure, and external failure.

Brian Lawrence's picture Brian Lawrence
Know Thy User

Testing, in its broadest sense, means ensuring that your visionaries and programmers are creating a helpful product that people will actually use. As the two authors of this installment of Bug Report illustrate, understanding how those users will operate your application is more than an exercise in empathy; it's a simple key to avoiding some real usability meltdowns.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Houston, We Have a Problem

Errors start with individuals, and a primary job of testers/QA people is to prevent those errors in the first place. But an equally important part of the job is to find them once they are there, understanding that errors will happen. Jon Hagar asks, "What can we do personally, above and beyond the normal day-to-day jobs that we testers and developers have?"

jon hagar's picture jon hagar
Network Testing with Shunra's STORM

STORM is a software-driven combination of hardware and software that recreates multiple, real-life, WAN links in terms of bandwidth limitations, packet loss, latency, jitter, and more–all in a local area network (LAN) lab. By providing a test bed that brings the WAN into a controlled and repeatable LAN environment, we can test and evaluate the performance and robustness of IP applications or devices before wide-scale deployment, or compare new technologies before field testing.

Ron Ioszpe's picture Ron Ioszpe
Developing Your Professional Network

Do you shudder at the thought of having to learn social etiquette in order to manage your professional network? Networking rituals do have to evolve to fit with new communication mechanisms. But the workings of the human psyche haven't changed, and you still need to learn the skills that are necessary to develop a network that can bolster your career.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
The Power Loss Trap

In order to be effective, Testing must co-exist on a level playing field with Development and Project Management. It cannot be subservient to them. A test lead's authority on a project springs from his or her projected sense of self-confidence in the role, and the Power Loss Trap undermines this authority. Here are a few commonsense ways to protect yourself.

Matt Leahy's picture Matt Leahy
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

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