Better Software Magazine Articles

Measure the Measurable: Improving Software Quality Through Telemetry

Observing customers in a usability lab can be invaluable for improving product design. But, once your software leaves the lab, do you know what your customers are actually doing and whether or not your software meets their expectations? Learn how engineers on the Microsoft Office team apply a variety of software telemetry techniques to understand real-world usage, how the results drive product improvements, and how you can apply similar techniques.

Jamie Campbell's picture Jamie Campbell
Small Experiments: Use Small Software Development Experiments Avoid Big Software Failures

In today's software development and test environment, we seem to have little time for either problem identification or solution implementation. What seems to work well instead (and is more fun) is to try small experiments. The idea is not to solve problems, but to try to learn in little steps.

Linda Rising's picture Linda Rising
Which Obstacle Should You Tackle Today?

As a lead and manager, your job to remove obstacles that impede work is most important. But of all the obstacles you find, whether they be people's perceptions, bottlenecks in the work flow, or an ill-fitted chair or desk, which do you tackle first? Johanna Rothman explains how to remove the obstacles that slow, impede, or halt project work.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Selling To Your Buyer

No matter how well you've built it, no users will benefit from your product unless you can convince the buyers to purchase it. Selling to buyers is different than satisfying users—and you have to do both well to succeed. Consider the needs of the buyer as stakeholder. When you have no buyers, you have no users.

Scott Sehlhorst's picture Scott Sehlhorst
Working Together—Not Just Working Together

People collaborate—and don't—in a variety of ways. Johanna Rothman examines what happens when collaboration isn't working, and how to make it work. Watch for several barriers to collaboration including those imposed on people by the organization itself.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
QA Is Not Evil

A software tester re-examines the role of software testers in quality assurance work, helping implement software development processes. If testers are knowledgeable, helpful, and supportive, they may be in the best possible position to help the team improve its software development process.

Chris McMahon's picture Chris McMahon
Outside the Strike Zone

In a counterpoint to his previous Technically Speaking column, Lee explains why holding fast to one's beliefs is not necessarily a bad thing.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Telling Better User Stories

While the idea of a user story is simple on the surface, there are challenges to working with them. User story mapping is a useful way to organize, decompose, and prioritize user stories.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Countdown to Agility

Jean Tabaka believes in the power of an entire agile organization. These ten characteristics of an agile organization may seem counter to market success, but she explores why they are wholly embedded in twenty-first century business success.

Jean Tabaka's picture Jean Tabaka
Scrumdamentalism

It's been said that, over time, charismatic movements often evolve to become "bureaucratic"—focused on a set of standardized procedures that dictate the execution of the processes within the movement. Has Scrum evolved to this point or is there still a place for agility in our processes?

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland

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