Conflict is inevitable at work. Sooner or later, you will disagree about what to test, when to test, or how long to test software. How you and the person you disagree with approach the conflict affects both the outcome and how you feel about the exchange. In this column, Esther Derby explains some of the ways people approach conflict and how they affect solutions and relationships.
Personality differences often pose challenges for people who need to work together. One such difference is that which separates introverts and extroverts. Just by being themselves, introverts and extroverts can drive each other crazy. But they can also benefit from each other's strengths. In this column, Naomi Karten explains this personality difference and helps introverts and extroverts better understand and appreciate each other.
Speaking at a conference can work wonders for your credibility. Delivering a presentation is an opportunity to share your insights, convey valuable information, and gain a reputation as an expert on your topic. Provided you keep a few key points in mind. In this article, Naomi Karten offers suggestions for successful presentations.
Do organizations need fewer managers and more leaders? Do the qualities of one outweigh those of the other? In this article, Esther Derby defines leadership and management, and shows how one test manager incorporates both.
Staged integration versus continuous integration—which does your team prefer? Can't decide if one is better than the other? In this column, Johanna Rothman explains that you can create the perfect blend of the two. Developers and testers benefit from frequent builds, but be careful with how much you build. Build too much or too little and a project could topple.
Knowing how much work your group can accomplish—and how much it takes to complete that work—is critical to your success as a manager. Johanna Rothman explains how to ascertain your team's potential and how to use that information to define and manage your project portfolio so it doesn't manage you.
Software testers are typically grouped en masse in the world of information technology (IT). Many in the software testing profession, however, know that this should not be the case. In this column, Dion Johnson exposes the dichotomy in testing that has produced two distinct groups—software test engineers and software test executors—and why these groups are embroiled in a struggle to possess the crown as the industry's true software quality professionals.
Most managers realize that giving feedback is an important part of their job. But not all managers are skilled at providing feedback. Some make vague comparisons, mistakenly apply labels as feedback, and others just hint and hope you'll get the message. Esther Derby offers advice on how to probe for the information that will help you understand your manager's concerns when he doesn't state them clearly.
We may be creatures of habit—adhering to and promoting processes we know well—but we also habitually look to other work environments that appear capable of nurturing our ideas once an old environment becomes depleted. Ed Weller believes that searching for greener pastures is unnecessary. You just need to learn how to cultivate your managers in order to create an environment that will harbor your ideas. Ed explains why you'll end up grazing fruitlessly if you can't plant your ideas with management.
If your customer interview questions focus too narrowly on a problem that must be solved, you run the risk of missing information that could be critical to a successful outcome. In this column, Naomi Karten says playing detective improves your ability to gather information. To improve the odds of success, it's important to ask questions from multiple perspectives—and to pay attention not only to the customers' response, but to how they say it as well.