Better Software Magazine Articles

The Other Side of Complexity

Software development has always been an exercise in managing complexity because there appears to be no end to the problems to which we can apply automatic computation. It has progressed as a discipline as good minds have created abstractions that transform that complexity into simplicity.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
Is There a Problem Here?

Suppose you were testing an application that you had never seen before with no time to prepare, no specification, no documentation, no reference programs, no prepared test cases, no test plan, and no other person to talk to. How do you know that what you are seeing is a bug?

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
New and Improved: Get User Buy-In on Process-Improvement Initiatives

When these information architects were assigned to a team that was struggling to achieve CMMI Level 2, they found little user buy-in for the new processes. Find out how introducing user-centered design to the project got everyone involved in the design process and increased the users' satisfaction in the end product.

Ember R. DeBoer's picture Ember R. DeBoer
Some Assembly Required

Despite the hype, test-driven development is not as easy as child's play. Successful implementation of TDD requires discipline and an understanding of the potential pitfalls. This article examines the "fine print" of TDD and explains how following some guidelines can help you make it a valuable addition to your development toy box.

Jennitta Andrea's picture Jennitta Andrea
A Story About User Stories and Test-Driven Development: Into the Field

Drawing on real events from the authors' combined experience, this story picks up where it left off in the November 2007 issue and follows a fictional team as it encounters some of the pitfalls of using test-driven development.

Gertrud Bjørnvig's picture Gertrud Bjørnvig Neil Harrison
Man and Machine: Combine the Human Mind with Test Automation Tools

Instead of viewing software test automation as an effort to replace manual tests think of it as a means to extend the abilities of the tester. Combining the power of the human mind with automation tools helps fuel observation and discovery and provides a different perspective of the software under test.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
What Counts?

In the testing business, we are infected with counting disease–we count test cases, requirements, lines of code, and bugs. But all this counting is an endemic means of deception in the testing business. How do we know what numbers are truly meaningful?

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
A Story About User Stories and Test-Driven Development: The Setup

While "testing" is part of its name, many TDD pundits insist TDD is not a testing technique, but rather a technique that helps to focus one's design thinking. Drawing on real events from the authors' combined experience, this story follows a fictional team as it encounters some of the pitfalls of using test-driven development.

Behind the Scenes

Have you ever found a major defect while testing an unfamiliar system and been unable to explain exactly how you found it? The Framework for Exploratory Testing can help. These four activities help you explain your thought processes and allow you to train others to be better exploratory testers.

Erik Petersen's picture Erik Petersen
How Testers Think

People think in models and metaphors, which help us make sense of the world and deal with new things. Citing material from the book "How Doctors Think", Michael draws a comparison between how doctors diagnose illness in patients and how testers find problems in software.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton


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