People & Teams

Better Software Magazine Articles

Questions You Should Ask

It's a technique children and teenagers have mastered: asking "why" until they get to an acceptable response (or until we're too tired to continue answering). Find out how Michele Sliger uses a similar approach designed by Six Sigma to drill down into the underlying cause of any problem within software projects. She then continues the inquisition with a series of other questions in order to find out how these problems affect business value and technology. Read on to learn what these questions are and how you can start using them to find out why things aren't going as planned.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
The Abolition of Ignorance

The testing profession isn't easily mastered, and isn't something that can be perfected by practice alone. Good testers study testing to improve their knowledge of the areas they know about, but great testers strive to find out about areas of software testing they don't yet realize they don't know about.

Alan Page's picture Alan Page
Six Thinking Hats for Testers

Fresh ideas can provoke us into discovering great insights: Six thinking hats did just that for Julian Harty, who then applied them to software testing with great success. He, and tens of others, has found the thinking hats easy to use, practical, and very productive. Read on to find out how you can apply them to your work.

Julian Harty's picture Julian Harty
What's a Manager to Do?

Self-organizing teams still need managers. But those managers need to rethink how they do their jobs and consider how much self-management the team can take on. Finding the sweet spot between hands on and hands off is the key.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Don't Fear the Repartee

Conflict reduces people's productivity and generosity toward the organization and their coworkers. These four steps can help defuse a conflict situation and improve the chances for a solution that at the least, both parties can live with.

Nance Goldstein's picture Nance Goldstein
Metrics that Motivate

To implement a meaningful incentive system for your team, you need to select metrics that encourage the behaviors you need and the results you want. But first you have to decide what you need and want.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
Simple Summaries Of Complex Projects

How can we meaningfully summarize—in a brief status report without losing important details—the successes and setbacks our projects experience?

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Keep Non-developers in the Loop

Keeping QA members up to date on changes as they happen–through meetings, wikis, and email–can reduce the number of unnecessary bug reports and save you time and frustration.

Melanie Tayler's picture Melanie Tayler
The Tester Who Came In from the Cold

Traditionally, relationships between testing and coding teams often bordered on frosty. But the wall has started to come down, especially in organizations that have embraced agile principles, values, and practices.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
Held Hostage

Software developers are not typically at the top of the organizational chart. Yet in some cases, developers are able to wield their knowledge and control of the code to hold management hostage to the developers’ own agenda. How can you avoid being taken hostage and losing control of your company and its software?

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes

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