Better Software Magazine

Better Software Magazine Articles

Issues about Metrics about Bugs

Managers often use metrics to help make decisions about the state of the product or the quality of the work done by the test group. Yet, measurements derived from bug counts can be highly misleading because a "bug" isn't a tangible, countable thing; it's a label for some aspect of some relationship between some person and some product, and it's influenced by when and how we count ... and who is doing the counting.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
GUT Instinct

Whether or not a unit test is considered good is not simply about what it tests: It is also very much about "how" it tests. Is the test readable and maintainable? Does it define the expected behavior or merely assume it? To be sustainable, the style of a unit test is just as important as the style of any other code. Perhaps a little surprisingly, the most commonly favored test partitioning style does not meet these expectations.

Kevlin Henney's picture Kevlin Henney
Putting the Kart before the Horse?

Go-karting is where most of the current Formula One racing drivers first learned the basics of race-craft. Antony Marcano, a former kart racer himself, recounts a father-and-son racing experience that helps him explain what goes wrong for many organizations that adopt Scrum as their first attempt to "go agile."

Antony Marcano's picture Antony Marcano
Time to Let Go of Obsolete Jobs

Town crier, elevator operator, gas lamp lighter, carbon paper distributor, telegraph operator—you probably haven't seen many help wanted ads for these occupations lately. Why? Because these occupations are gone—obsolete, unnecessary, outdated. We just don't need them anymore. When new paradigms are created, new jobs are often created with them. And sometimes, existing jobs are no longer relevant.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
What to Expect When You're Automating Testing

After learning the basics of testing frameworks, writing tests for your existing codebase can be a daunting challenge. Where should you start testing, and what kind of tests will be the most effective? Learn how to kick-start your testing and some solutions to problems teams frequently encounter.

Daniel Wellman's picture Daniel Wellman
Virtual Realities: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls of Adopting Virtual Lab Automation

Virtual Lab Automation (VLA) is a ground-breaking technology that promises quantifiable benefits for application development and test organizations, including faster lab deployment, less manual setup work, greater resource flexibility and utilization, and easier reproduction of defects. In this article, Skytap's Ian Knox discusses the best practices and common pitfalls associated with adopting a VLA solution. In addition, he outlines the steps to evaluate a virtualization solution for your test organization and provides further resources to help you get started.

Ian Knox's picture Ian Knox
Scrum: Using High-impact Teamwork to Tackle Software Development Projects

For organizations trying to do more with less in the current economy, knowing where to turn for help can be a big question mark. But as Laszlo Szalvay of Danube explains, Scrum is one possible solution. This agile method of project management is quickly transforming the way software is developed by bringing teams together through frequent communication and high-impact collaboration, resulting in increased productivity and an ability to build a better product faster.

Laszlo Szalvay's picture Laszlo Szalvay
Do You Know Why You Are Doing That?

It's easy to get caught up in the inertia of a project and forget to ask exactly what we are developing, who our customers are, and what their goals with our software might be. Few software projects have the time and budget to figure out what their project is through trial and error. Getting clarity on project focus not only helps productivity, working to create software that people actually need increases our chances for success.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
The Trouble with Derivation

This article discusses the dark underbelly of derivation: the fragile base class. It's possible to modify a base class in such a way that, even though you've improved its implementation and all your tests work just fine, you've nonetheless damaged the derived classes, perhaps fatally.

Allen I. Holub's picture Allen I. Holub
Three Pounds of Manure in a Two-Pound Sack

Multitasking is not a magical cure for getting too much work done by too few resources. Listen in as Payson Hall eavesdrops on a coaching session between two managers about how to assign and prioritize work.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall

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