Articles

A partially open laptop shows a colorful screen, photo by Ash Edmonds When Software Development Becomes a True Profession

David Bernstein describes the software profession as an industry of amateurs. He argues that it does not yet have many of the things that a true profession has, such as a defined path of entry or good apprenticeship opportunities. A big reason is that computer programming hasn't been around as long as other industries, but what else will it take for software to rise in the ranks?

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
Drawing of a person ascending stairs Continuous Improvement Activities beyond the Retrospective

One of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.” Unfortunately, many associate that practice with performing team retrospectives at the end of a sprint, or periodically in kanban. But if you seek to build a high-performing team, there are more improvement activities you should consider adopting.

Jeffery Payne's picture Jeffery Payne
Man holding string lights up to his face Embracing the Learning Curve in Software Development

In software development, we're constantly learning new skills because we have to. Technology and its associated best practices are constantly changing, but this is a good thing—it means our industry is evolving quickly. It also means we are constantly on the learning curve. Having a good mindset about continuously learning can help you go far in the software world.

David Bernstein's picture David Bernstein
telescope Agile Trends to Watch in 2018

With 2018 well underway, it seems like a good time to look ahead and think about what we hope to accomplish this year. Find out which agile trends these software experts are most looking forward to in the coming months.

Heather Shanholtzer's picture Heather Shanholtzer

Better Software Magazine Articles

Be Indispensable: Cross-Train like a Testing Athlete Be Indispensable: Cross-Train like a Testing Athlete

Stretching your skills and preparing for organizational and work-related change is vital for any QA tester. Your best approach is to work on complementing your skills and competencies.

Bonnie Bailey's picture Bonnie Bailey
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WAY WE LEARN How Technology Is Changing the Way We Learn

Modern technologies like virtual reality, cloud-based systems, and measurement of content have disrupted how we learn. Standards have evolved to improve how learning material can be published to any device.

Troy Tolle's picture Troy Tolle
overwhelmed at work Saying No to More Work

We’ve all been placed in the situation where a boss asks you to perform more work than you can possibly handle. Johanna Rothman knows firsthand that there is a better way to respond that benefits you and your manager.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Recognizing #WomenInAgile

As part of her involvement with #WomenInAgile, Natalie Warnert conducted a study to determine why women are less involved in the agile community and what can be done about it. Her research shows some surprising results.

Natalie Warnert's picture Natalie Warnert

Interviews

Experiences at STAREAST 2019: An Interview with Mike Sowers
Video

Mike Sowers, senior consultant and VP of Training with Coveros, discusses the value of attending the STAREAST conference: networking, couch sessions, and being able to discuss common challenges with colleagues. He details conversations about trying to improve personal core competencies along with our teams and organizations, integrating agile and moving into DevOps, and how testing operates in a continuous context. Mike also talks about upcoming conferences and staying ahead of the technology curve through training and learning opportunities.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Dawn Haynes Job Security in the Age of Automation: An Interview with Dawn Haynes
Video

In this interview, Dawn Haynes, CEO, testing coach, and consultant for PerfTestPlus, discusses the ever-evolving world of AI and machine learning and the impact on the future of testing. Dawn explains why tools and automation will not be able to replace people, so testers don’t need to worry about job security.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Wilson Mar Why Testers Should Be Using GitHub: An Interview with Wilson Mar
Video

In this interview, Wilson Mar, principal DevOps performance evangelist at JetBloom, describes the importance of Git to testing and to securing employment in the field. Because Git is a great way for testers to display their work, many interviewers look at an applicant’s public GitHub account as a means of judging their work. Wilson discusses his STARWEST session on Git and resources he provides on his GitHub account about Git basics.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Chris Loder Getting Restarted in Test Automation: A Conversation with Chris Loder
Video

Chris Loder, automation architect at InGenius, talks about being a self-taught automation developer, why learning new skills is so important, and the synergy between manual testers, automation testers, and developers.

Owen Gotimer's picture Owen Gotimer

Conference Presentations

STAREAST ENCORE Session
Slideshow

BRAVO! It's back by popular demand! Did you have a hard time selecting which session to attend? Wished you had participated in a great session you heard about? Talked with someone at lunch or a happy hour about a great presentation and you wished you could have been there? Your wish has come true! We know it's a challenge to cover all the great sessions at our conferences, so on Thursday afternoon, we will feature a repeat of one of the most talked about sessions from Wednesday. We want to hear from YOU which session you would like to have presented again. Drop by the TechWell Experience area and tell our staff your suggestions on which talk we should bring "back" again for a repeat performance. And stay tuned for the big announcement on which talk is coming back on Thursday!

George Master TechWell
Agile DevOps West Minimum Viable Product: Deliver with Vision, Simplicity and Focus
Slideshow

To build good software, teams (and businesses) need to have a laser focus on all three of these items. It is virtually impossible to keep the effort focused on building to the needs of the customer if you don't start with a solid vision from the product owner/sponsor. When the focus isn't on just what is needed by the customer, that leads scope creep and feature bloat tends to set in and impact the products ROI. Whether you are focusing on a minimum viable product, minimum viable prototype, or a minimally viable package of code; leveraging the few simple principles allows teams to keep things simple, meet the vision and needs of the customer, while building in smaller batch sizes. In this presentation, we will review case studies, hands-on exercises, and real-life examples to cover some simple techniques to lock in a vision, focus on customer needs and drive to a simple, minimal viable product.

Brian Watson
Agile DevOps West Encore Session
Slideshow

BRAVO! It's back by popular demand! Did you have a hard time selecting which session to attend? Wished you had participated in a great session you heard about? Talked with someone at lunch or a happy hour about a great presentation and you wished you could have been there? Your wish has come true! We know it's a challenge to cover all the great sessions at our conferences, so on Thursday afternoon, we will feature a repeat of one of the most talked about sessions from Wednesday. We want to hear from YOU which session you would like to have presented again. Drop by the TechWell Experience area and tell our staff your suggestions on which talk we should bring "back" again for a repeat performance. And stay tuned for the big announcement on which talk is coming back on Thursday!

George Master TechWell
Agile DevOps West Leading in an Era of Constant Change
Slideshow

Change is a good thing. Being a leader in an era of constant change can be frustrating. Putting a company through a significant transformation is a serious process that takes a lot of people, time, and money. However, if your organization doesn't innovate and change by market-driven needs and demands, it will fail—it's just that simple. So, how do you do it? This interactive workshop will introduce five key factors to successful change management. You will experience techniques to get everybody actively involved in transformation, from top-level executives and stakeholders to the team level, clients, and partners. You'll be able to go back to your organization with tools and techniques to manage change and truly lead a successful agile transformation. Come learn how change can be invigorating instead of exhausting.

Kim Brainard

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