Better Software Magazine Articles

Does a Bug Make a Noise When It Falls in the Forest?

You've probably heard the question about noise in the forest: Does a tree falling in the forest make any noise if no one is there to hear it? Noel Nyman examines the question, "Is a bug a bug if no user can ever make it happen?"

Noel Nyman
How to Avoid Getting Burned by Your CD Release

Despite the risks, many companies do not have a formal release process. This article will guide you through some simple steps to verify your software prior to release.

George Hamblen
The Bug You're Most Likely to Miss

We all miss some bugs, but the bug you're most likely to miss is one that gives wrong results that might look right. Let's look at a famous and costly example, then we'll see what we can do during testing to avoid a similar disaster.

Bob Stahl
Managing the End Game: Avoiding End-of-Project Complications by putting the Test Team in Charge

Experiencing end-of-project woes? Read how one test team guided the work at the end of a project by establishing daily goals to meet weekly objectives; by grading the product with a two-tiered approach; and by posting frequent status reports.

Cindy Necaise
Bret Pettichord on Test Automation

Here is Bret Pettichord's collection of the most influential papers, books, and Web sites on software test automation. One benefit of reviewing various reports is that you're more likely to find one that is close to your own situation. All of these reports come from people who've done the work and have reported honestly about it.

Bret Pettichord's picture Bret Pettichord
Nightly Builds: A Tester's Early Warning System

We're all looking for an effective "Distant Early Warning" line of testing: a procedure that will minimize integration bugs, reduce the risk of low quality by allowing bugs to be caught early, make it easier to debug, and improve the visibility of the status of the system under test. One practice that meets those needs is the "nightly"—essentially a daily build and sanity test of the product.

Carla Oexmann
A Look at PREfix by Intrinsa

PREfix provides a source code simulation tool that is able to perform automatic review for a wide range of programming defects that lead to program crashes. Defects reported by PREfix include de-referencing NULL pointers, using uninitialized memory, leaking memory or resources, or using illegal values. Here is an analysis of the product.

Rodney Wilson
A Look at Mercury's TestDirector 7i

Arne Henne looks at HP (Mercury Interactive) TestDirector and concludes that this test management tool improves the effectiveness of testing in almost any environment. It incorporates all aspects of the testing--requirements management, planning, scheduling, running tests, defect tracking--into a single browser-based application.

Arne Henne
Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Internet-Based Systems

Danny Faught recommends Testing Applications on the Web: Test Planning for Internet-Based Systems by Hung Q. Nguyen. Faught concludes: "This book does not attempt to be a general reference on software testing. What it provides, instead, is domain-specific information that helps the reader plan for testing a Web-based application. Its clear illustrations of important Web testing approaches and its extensive checklists give testers detailed suggestions for their testing, based on real Web development experiences."

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
The Two Bugs

Brian Marick applies the philosophical concept of "ready-to-hand" to software programming and describes two bugs that illustrate problems caused by mismatched reuse of ideas.

Brian Marick

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