Better Software Magazine

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Whos and Wheres of Stakeholder Requirements

Whether you're working on a collocated or a distributed team, it's important to take stakeholder requirements into account: "Who" are they and "where" are they located? In this article, Mary Gorman offers some tips to help you narrow the gap between thinking and acting globally and locally.

Mary Gorman's picture Mary Gorman
Rescuing a Captive Project

Allowing an individual to hold a project hostage to his knowledge and expertise is bad for the project and for the team. Fiona Charles describes one captive project and shows how it could have been remedied.

Fiona Charles's picture Fiona Charles
Food for Thought

Ideas about testing can come from many different and unexpected sources, including reductionism, agronomy, cognitive psychology, mycology, and general systems. Michael feasts on Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and finds much to whet the tester's appetite for learning about how things work.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
How Agile Practices Reduce the Top 5 Requirements Risks

Requirements risks are among the most insidious risks threatening software projects. Whether it is having unclear requirements, lack of customer involvement in requirements development, or defective requirements, these troubles are a major culprit in projects that go awry. As requirements expert and agile coach Ellen Gottesdiener explains, agile practice can go a long way in mitigating the top five requirements risks.

Ellen Gottesdiener's picture Ellen Gottesdiener
Adapting Inspections to the Twenty-first Century

How do you adapt inspections to a twenty-first century distributed workforce? A key part of the inspection process is the team meeting, which provides peer pressure to participate and consensus on defects. Teams working in multiple time zones have limited opportunities for the team meeting. A list of requirements and the functions needed to solve this problem based on real-world experiences should help anyone faced with this problem.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
Predicting the Past

Developing an accurate prediction process is complex, time consuming, and difficult. But, basing predictions on causality rather than correlation and learning how to "predict the past" can help us gain confidence in the validity of our work.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
That's No Reason to Automate!

Automating test execution is supposed to give tremendous benefits, but often gives disappointing results—because it hasn’t met the objectives set for it. The fault may not lie with the automation itself, but with the objectives you are attempting to achieve. Aiming at the wrong target does not bring success! For example, objectives for automation are often confused with objectives for testing, but they should be different. In this article, learn how to avoid the most insidious traps and how to recognize good objectives for automation.

Feel the Burn: Getting the Most Out of Burn Charts

Burn-down charts have become a popular project artifact, but too often, people accept the default chart from whatever project management tool they're using. What choices can we make about the chart format and scale that will help us create charts that answer the questions that are really important to us? And when the chart looks "funny," what could it possible mean?

George Dinwiddie's picture George Dinwiddie
Software to Go: Developing Applications for a Wireless World

The mobile arena is in constant evolution, changing the way we approach software development both from a business and a technical perspective. Taking the time to set your plan can make the difference between success and just a good idea. In this article, Luis Carvalho shares some guidelines for bringing new applications into the mobile ecosystem.

Luis Miguel  Carvalho's picture Luis Miguel Carvalho
Avoiding Half-baked Discovery

It can be difficult to explain to your customer why cutting half of the features doesn't cut half of the time and cost. Every software project has fixed costs that often get overlooked in project planning—setting up development environments, ramp-up, building frameworks, and setting up configuration management to name a few. Read on for some ideas on how you can position this with your customer.

Didier Thizy's picture Didier Thizy

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