Better Software Magazine Articles

What's Different about Agile Management

Much has been written about how agile processes change the developer and tester roles, but what effect do they have on the manager? Learn about three “extreme” concepts and what they mean to the software manager.

Ken Schwaber
Practical Career Advancement

A word from the Technical Editor

Brian Marick
Dodging the Ditches

"We want the software to be faster, better, cheaper!" the marketing guy declares. We want to deliver, but if we aren't positive what those adjectives mean, we will fail. Read on to learn how a road trip prompted industry veteran Esther Derby to revisit how to avoid the expectations gap.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Through the Eyes of a Troubled Customer

Have you ever had to cope with a demanding developer? A touchy tester? A quarrelsome QA person? A cantankerous customer? Why oh why do people act that way? This column describes the route one IT group took to reverse a customer's bad attitude and make her a valuable ally.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
When Enough is Not Enough

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a situation where, no matter what you do, you can't seem to please your senior manager? Your manager wants you to decrease test time, but at what price? You go back and forth, but no matter how much you compress the schedule, it's never enough. Johanna Rothman explains how to avoid the bring-me-a-rock trap, when enough is not enough, and keep your team from being sucked into unreasonable time constraints.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Who is running this project anyway? Managing Distributed Testing Teams

Distributed testing is often used to leverage outsourced or offshore test and development labs. Managing distributed projects does not automatically begin when the contract is signed, or during the kick-off meeting. It begins when you develop an effective framework for executing a distributed project. Jacob Hsu identifies the tools you need to successfully manage distributed teams, including defining methodologies, creating an enabling infrastructure, and improving corporate culture. Learn concrete ways to overcome the people issues surrounding outsourcing, including leadership, trust, and negative competitiveness.

Jacob Hsu, Symbio
Out of Mind, Out of Sight

Sometimes it takes a child's perspective to remind us of the things that have become "invisible" to us. We make choices that become part of the daily flow and are forgotten until something happens that reopens our eyes. This week, Esther Derby explains how a four-year-old reminded her of an important lesson about decisions and routines.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Becoming an Information-Gathering Skeptic

Customers don't always know what they want. That's a given. But even if they do know, they may not always be able to communicate it clearly. That's also a given. Given these givens, you have a much better chance of comprehending your customers' needs and concerns if you're a skilled information-gathering skeptic.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
A Real Go-Getter

A word from the editor.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Manager to Manager

Dorothy Graham says test managers should learn to speak in terms that a project manager can relate to.

Dorothy Graham's picture Dorothy Graham

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