Articles

A variety of tools on a workbench For Distributed Agile Teams, It’s Not All about the Tools

Many managers and distributed team members think that if they just had the right tools, they could make some agile approach work. Maybe, but tools only enhance the work of a collaborative agile team. Before you select tools, make sure you have people who can work together and have enough skills and capabilities for your distributed team. Tools do not make the team; they support the team.

Person crossing a natural rock bridge above the sea Agile Estimates versus #NoEstimates: Bridging the Gap

Agile teams can easily get puzzled by the heated debate happening between advocates for estimation and those in the #NoEstimates camp. However, by comparing how they solve these problems, we can identify many common practices between the two groups and see they are not truly at odds—they actually complement each other. Let's bridge the gap.

Andre Rubin's picture Andre Rubin
Circle made of arrows Why You Need Continuous Testing in DevOps

DevOps is more than adopting the right set of tools; it's a cultural shift that incorporates testing at each stage of the agile project lifecycle. Continuous testing is key to unlocking this culture change because it weaves testing activities into every part of the software design, development, and deployment processes, which helps everyone involved communicate more, collaborate better, and innovate faster.

Tom Alexander's picture Tom Alexander
Sticky notes on cabinet doors Applying Agile to Life: Taking Retrospectives outside the Workplace

A lot of what agile teams do can be used effectively outside software development teams, and even outside the typical business organization. For instance, retrospectives and the practice of talking about what went well, what you should keep doing, and what can be improved can be applied anywhere—even to families. Read on to learn how to bring continuous improvement into your daily life.

Ben Kopel's picture Ben Kopel

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Amazing Benefits of Integrated ALM Tools

For years, developers have struggled with using individual lifecycle management tools, but no longer! Joe Farah walks you through a history and benefits of an integration of ALM tools that every team should seriously consider.

Joe Farah's picture Joe Farah
Why NoSQL Matters and What Configuration Management Experts Need to Know About It

NoSQL is a new approach to data storage that addresses many problems associated with relational databases. Many highly popular websites—including Facebook, Netflix, and Digg—are using NoSQL to crunch large volumes of data. Eugene Dvorkin gives us insight into why NoSQL is important and what CM experts need to know about it.

Eugene Dvorkin's picture Eugene Dvorkin
Practical Security Testing for Web Applications

It seems like every week the press has yet another story about security breaches or stolen data at some of the world’s largest companies or government agencies. Sometimes the responsibility for ensuring thorough security resides with an IT security group, and other times it gets outsourced altogether. The responsibility seldom falls to testing teams. However, this is changing. Having trained and experienced testers hunt for security bugs will make web applications safer from hackers and will further protect consumers, corporate assets, and brands.. Scott Aziz offers some practical techniques that will help you get started.

Scott Aziz's picture Scott Aziz
Traditional Test Engineering, Your Days Are Numbered

In the first installment of this article, Dr. James Whittaker discussed turning testing on its head—to revitalize and improve the value of late-stage testing. James also discussed ideas behind empowering your dogfooders, testers, and the crowd to significantly and efficiently improve software quality. In part two, Jason Arbon discusses the research and engineering experimentation behind realizing these ideas into new tools and processes.

Jason Arbon's picture Jason Arbon

Interviews

Greg Paskal Data Visualization in Test Automation: A Conversation with Greg Paskal
Video

Greg Paskal, test automation lead at Ramsey Solutions, talks about data lakes and how to effectively use data visualization. Done well, data visualization should help practitioners, managers, and stakeholders easily consume, understand, and act on the information the visual displays.

Owen Gotimer's picture Owen Gotimer
Mining a Data Lake to Improve Analysis of Your Test Automation Data: An Interview with Greg Paskal
Video

In this interview, Greg Paskal, a technology innovator in quality assurance, discusses a new open source tool from Elastic Stack that creates a “data lake” that can be mined to analyze the data coming from test automation on a more effective level than pass/fail. 

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Cher Fox Why Test Automation Is Important for Agile Data Teams: An Interview with Cher Fox

In this interview, Cher Fox, of Fox Consulting, explains why test automation is essential for agile data teams' success. However, there are many other items to consider and address before implementing test automation. You may be able to get started with tools you already have.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Tanya Kravstov Identify Bottlenecks in Your Agile and DevOps Processes: An Interview with Tanya Kravtsov

In this interview, Tanya Kravtsov, a director of QA at Audible, explains why identifying bottlenecks is so critical when you’re turning to agile and DevOps, as well as how automating manual processes can lead to better quality.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Building Quality into Your Release Pipeline
Slideshow

Decreasing the time to market has become critical for many organizations. This heightened focus on speed has fundamentally changed the way software is designed, developed, released, and tested. Not long ago, it would have been common to see release testing efforts that took weeks or even months. Today, in many instances, QA instead only has days or hours to complete their testing efforts. Stepping up to this challenge is not easy, but it's essential. Troy Walsh will talk about adding quality to your release pipeline, starting by looking at what a release pipeline is and how it works. Building on that, Troy will explore how you can plug in automated and manual testing efforts, and then look at some of the tools that can make plugging into this pipeline relatively painless. Finally, he will walk through a fully built-out release pipeline so you can see how these concepts and tools can be leveraged in a real-world setting.

Troy Walsh
Agile DevOps West Escaping the 9 Circles of Agile Hell
Slideshow

Does it feel like you're toiling away in agile hell? Fear not—you don't have to be confined there for all eternity. Dave Bujard and Chris Stemen will describe the nine circles of agile hell, each an example of a problem that exists in many programs. They'll discuss the underlying issues that often are the cause and how to deal with them. Bring your smartphones—during the first five minutes, Dave and Chris will ask the audience to prioritize their pain points via an interactive app. During the presentation, they will focus on the six agile hells closest to participants' experiences. Threaded throughout the presentation, you will be engaged to poll your experiences as Dave and Chris convey specific, real examples of “escaping” from each agile hell. Learn to expand your toolbox of techniques to help your organization ascend from the agile underworld in simple, achievable ways.

David Bujard
Agile DevOps West Building Healthy Agile and DevOps Teams
Slideshow

The tools and technologies our teams rely on to build solutions are changing faster every day. New frameworks, new tools, transformations to DevOps, and migrations to public cloud are all putting strain on our teams. These changes drive a natural entropy as key-person dependencies form, hurting quality and throughput and leading to morale issues and attrition. Lee Eason has been watching this happen over the past several years and has developed a tool and an approach to address it. You will learn practical approaches to help you build a culture of continuous learning within your teams in order to meet these challenges head on. With a thoughtful approach, you can build a team of T-shaped professionals who use technology innovations to the organization's advantage.

Lee Eason
STAREAST Dig In: Get Familiar with the Code to Be a Better Tester
Slideshow

Maybe you’ve been testing the same application for a while and your rate of finding new bugs has slowed. Or you’re trying to find more ways to figure out what your devs are doing day to day. You have the tools at your disposal—you just need to dig in! Hilary Weaver-Robb will share tools and techniques you can use to take your testing to the next level. See everything the developers are changing, and learn how you can find the most vulnerable parts of the code. These strategies can help you focus your testing and track down those pesky bugs! Take away a better understanding of tools to conduct static analysis on the code, and use these results to find potential bugs. You'll discover ways to use commit logs to figure out what’s being changed and understand why it’s helpful to dig into the code of the application under test.

Hilary Weaver-Robb

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