Better Software Magazine Articles

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
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.

Software Quality and the Prisoner's Dilemma

This industry spin on the classical dilemma illustrates the games we play when software quality is at stake and gives insight into why software managers who forego quality in order to reach a short-term marketing advantage are actually acting rationally.

Paco Hope's picture Paco Hope
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
Modern Distributed Teams

Traditionally, managing distributed teams has been perceived as difficult. But the advent of effective modern processes and tools is breaking through the obstacles and making distributed teams a viable—and valuable—option. Find out how to make the most of people, processes, and tools to create and maintain a successful distributed team.

Chris McMahon's picture Chris McMahon
Software Development Worst Practices

While some debate which, if any, industry practices deserve the designation "best practices," this tongue-in-cheek look at the horrors of some of software's "worst practices" drives home the value of the good ones and may help us improve the quality of our software.

Gregory pope12's picture Gregory pope12
A Needle in a (Very Large) Haystack

Putting together a successful team is always a challenge, but assembling a global team can be almost overwhelming. These tips can help you overcome the obstacles to hiring the best offsite developers for your project.

Sherif Koussa's picture Sherif Koussa


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