personal improvement


Swiss army knife Want True Agility? Foster General Skills over Specialization

Many organizations enforce systems that stifle flexibility by promoting specialization. But encouraging learning new skills and expanding outside core responsibilities promotes flow over resource efficiency, helps cover gaps in time of crisis, and lets you build a team that can deliver continually at a sustainable pace. It's the age of the generalist.

Phil Gadzinski's picture Phil Gadzinski
Speak Up: The Key to Agile Success

You can learn all the theoretical agile principles and best practices, but you still may not be agile. To be truly agile, you must also communicate and collaborate with your team—and this means speaking up. Even if you're not a natural extrovert, there are plenty of ways you can contribute during planning, sprints, and retrospectives to make your product and process better.

Brian Everett's picture Brian Everett
Discovering Your Leadership Drive

Some people are born with the traits most suited to becoming an effective leader. Others may find that they have to work a lot harder to achieve success in a leadership role. But each of us has some innate potential to step up and take charge. If your team needs direction, don't be afraid to discover whether you could be the one to provide it.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs
Move Past Your Comfort Zone: Use Imposter Syndrome to Your Advantage

When you're speaking, teaching, or coaching, do you ever suddenly feel like you're in way over your head? That there must've been a big mistake, because you're not qualified? Instead of letting this imposter's syndrome paralyze you, there are ways to embrace being outside your comfort zone and turn your self-doubt into a chance to thrive.

Mark Kilby's picture Mark Kilby

Better Software Magazine Articles

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
Planning to Performance Test Your App? Think Again!

To complement functional validation, software teams are expected to validate performance. But, according to Jun Zhuang, you must be prepared to invest time, personnel, and resources to benefit from performance testing.

Jun Zhuang's picture Jun Zhuang
How to Prepare for ISTQB Exam

In this FAQ column, Michael Sowers provides advice on preparing for the ISTQB Advanced Level Test Manager Certification Exam.

Michael Sowers's picture Michael Sowers
Painful Lessons I Learned From Bootstrapping a Startup

If you are considering leaving the nest to self-fund your own endeavor, you may want to read about Mike Botsko's experience creating a cloud-based, bug-tracking app called Snowy Evening. What started out as a lot of fun quickly turned into a tough journey. Don't worry—it has a happy ending!

Mike Botsko's picture Mike Botsko


Alison Wade discusses the Women Who Test summit at STARWEST 2015 Women Who Test: STARWEST 2015 Interview with Alison Wade

In this interview, TechWell speaks to the founder of Women Who Test, Alison Wade. She is also the program chair for the Mobile Dev + Test Conference. Alison speaks about her new summit that celebrates female testers.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Rob Sabourin discusses Usability Testing for Mobile and Web Technologies STAREAST 2015 Interview with Rob Sabourin on Exploring Usability Testing for Mobile and Web Technologies

In this interview, Rob Sabourin talks about his STAREAST presentations. These cover how to elicit effective usability requirements with storyboarding and task analysis, and how to blend the requirements, design, and test cycles into a tight feedback loop.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Steve Davi discusses the role of executives in agile Executives Taking a Backseat in Agile: An Interview with Steve Davi

In this interview, Steve Davi talks about how executives can actually harm a company's agile transition. He covers how executives can and should take on a different role when agile is being adopted, and explains how employees can help the executive get engaged in the right way. 

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Alex Papadimoulis talks about his agile card game, Release! Make Agile Fun Again with Release!: An Interview with Alex Papadimoulis

Alex Papadimoulis, the creator of Release!, an agile-based card game, sat down to talk about how gaming can strengthen a company's work culture and bring teams together, how Release! features industry practitioners and thought leaders, and the best conference swag he has ever gotten. 

Conference Presentations

Create Brainstorming Commandos for Creative Problem Solving

Agile teams are solving real-world complex problems every day. These problems require creative problem solving by team members. In its truest sense, brainstorming is intended to be a practical approach to this task. Brainstorming entails “using the brain to storm a creative problem and...

Pradeepa Narayanaswamy
You Don't Have All the Answers: So Stop Giving Advice and Start Asking Questions

Many of us are raised to recognize the value of experts. When we work in a technical arena, seeing our own value as experts is re-enforced. We often are rewarded or promoted based on our knowledge. Our tendency is to want to solve problems by giving our colleagues, teams, and mentees sound...

Judith Mills, Judith Mills LLC
Toward a Well-Run, Cross-Functional, High-Performance Team

Behind every successful delivery to a customer, there is a well-run, cross-functional team. They trust each other; they work well together. Yet every team, agile or not, faces the challenges of building such a team. And, despite their best efforts, many teams fail in this attempt, never...

Fuming Ye, Pitney Bowes
Gamification and Arbejdsglæde (Danish: Work Gladness/Joy)

You get paid for doing that? Is it possible to both work and have fun in a large corporate setting? Can joy be made part of the workplace? For the past few years Ryan Kleps and his colleagues have been conducting an informal social experiment using gamification (before they knew it had...

Ryan Kleps, Boeing IT

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