People & Teams

Better Software Magazine Articles

Advice for the New Leader

As a new manager it's easy to fall into the trap of taking on more of your team's responsibilities than you should. Learn how to guide your team to success by stepping back and letting team members solve their own problems, learn from their mistakes, and most of all do what you hired them to do.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger
The Mission Is the Message

A mission statement is supposed to guide and inspire the members of an organization as well as define the organization's purpose, the business it is in, and its responsibilities to its clients. Is your statement sending the right message?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
The Myth of Risk Management

Risk management is an illusion. We must recognize that software projects are inherently risky and admit to ourselves that it's not the known problems that are going to cause our projects to fail. It's the risks that are unmentionable, uncontrollable, unquantifiable, or unknown that make projects crash and burn.

Pete McBreen's picture Pete McBreen
When to Step Up, When to Step Back

Leaders can stifle progress when they unnecessarily interfere with team processes. However, as a leader, you don't want your project to go over the cliff and fail miserably or deliver the wrong results either. There are times when leaders should stand back and let the team work things out for themselves—and other times when leaders should step up and really lead. 

Pollyanna Pixton's picture Pollyanna Pixton
Let's Talk Agile

Agile development employs more oral communication, feedback, and interaction than traditional development. These communication tools can help ease the transition into the more interactive agile team relationship.

Ken Pugh's picture Ken Pugh
The Chivalrous Team Member

Using the ten virtues described in Brian Price's modern code of chivalry, Martin and Mike illustrate the similarities between the best performing software team members of today and the Knights of the Round Table.

Communicate, Don't Assimilate

Opening an offshore office can be a tricky situation. Learn how to spread corporate values and processes to your new team members by working together instead of forcing them to adopt your way of thinking.

Melissa Sienkiewicz's picture Melissa Sienkiewicz
A Change Would Do You Good

Visit any bookstore these days, and you will be faced with shelves of books whose titles claim they can make everything—from cooking to exercise—more interesting. In our industry, boredom is a problem that can affect your ability to solve complex technical problems. Discover how change can spice up your software processes.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
Where Do I Go From Here?—Professional Growth for Software Testers

Most professionals have a detailed career ladder upon which to climb and grow their careers. But in many test organizations that ladder has only one rung—and it leads to management. If management isn't your path of choice, these tips can help you market yourself and add value to your career while you build your own technical career ladder.

Matthew Heusser's picture Matthew Heusser
Incremental and Iterative Development

People get wrapped around the axle trying to understand the difference between incremental and iterative development. The Unified Process authors in the 1990s didn't help by indiscriminately calling everything iterative development. The two are different and must be managed differently. Successful teams do both at the same time, usually without thinking about it. Then someone starts thinking about it and does one without the other. Bad news follows.

Alistair Cockburn's picture Alistair Cockburn


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