Better Software Magazine Articles

Beat the Odds

You know that old saying that the best way to schedule software development is to come up with your best guess and divide by three? In this article, Joel Spolsky explains how to take the guesswork out of estimations by simulating schedules and creating probability curves that are more than just a shot in the dark.

Joel Spolsky's picture Joel Spolsky
Take a Stand-Yes or No, not Maybe

It's happened again. Your boss corners you and pressures you to take on extra work. The additional project gives you more work than you can realistically do, let alone do well. Find out how you can stand up to your boss and work with him to create reasonable priorities for your time without damaging your relationship.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Up the Organization, Redux

Certain management principles are enduring and able to cross the boundaries of industry In this month's Technically Speaking, Lee Copeland takes a look at the software development applications of his favorite management book.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
The Case of the Missing Fingerprint: Solve the Mystery of Successful End-of-Project Retrospectives

Through this tale of a planning spreadsheet and its effect on three different projects, learn the impact a single decision can have on a project--and pick up some helpful tools like fingerprint graphs and project timelines along the way.

Jennitta Andrea's picture Jennitta Andrea
A Few Good Bugs

When a factory comes to a screeching halt and the collected team managers start pointing fingers at team members and ducking blame, one manager sets a valuable example by offering up a name--his own.

Patrick Bailey's picture Patrick Bailey
The Power of Low-Tech Tools

The level of technology that goes into a tool is only as valuable as the service that you, as a user, get out of that tool. Some low-tech tools--such as the four that Esther Derby lists here--have a place in the technologist's toolbox, too.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Scoop on Employment Trends in 2006

Hundreds of Better Software magazine readers and users logged on and gave us the scoop on the industry's employment outlook. Find out how your software engineering peers responded to our annual salary survey.

Heather Shanholtzer's picture Heather Shanholtzer
Believing Is Seeing

What you don't know can hurt you, and what you do know can too. Lee Copeland takes a look at how the results of a 1949 Harvard experiment with playing cards should influence the way you evaluate your previous experience when building software

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Marine Corps Maxims: Principles for Building Strong Test Teams

The value the U.S. Marine Corps places on teamwork can improve your software development team as well. Former USMC member Sean Buck shares how correctly applying Marine Corps principles will lead the way toward better, more effective test teams.

Sean Buck's picture Sean Buck
In Search of Commitment Clarity

When planning your workload, it's easy to bite off more than you can chew. But as Michele Sliger explains in this tale of one overachiever's attempt to take on too much work, overcommitting yourself means overcommitting your team.

Michele Sliger's picture Michele Sliger


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