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Virtual Realities: Best Practices and Common Pitfalls of Adopting Virtual Lab Automation[magazine]

Virtual Lab Automation (VLA) is a ground-breaking technology that promises quantifiable benefits for application development and test organizations, including faster lab deployment, less manual setup work, greater resource flexibility and utilization, and easier reproduction of defects. In this article, Skytap's Ian Knox discusses the best practices and common pitfalls associated with adopting a VLA solution. In addition, he outlines the steps to evaluate a virtualization solution for your test organization and provides further resources to help you get started.

Ian Knox's picture Ian Knox
Scrum: Using High-impact Teamwork to Tackle Software Development Projects[magazine]

For organizations trying to do more with less in the current economy, knowing where to turn for help can be a big question mark. But as Laszlo Szalvay of Danube explains, Scrum is one possible solution. This agile method of project management is quickly transforming the way software is developed by bringing teams together through frequent communication and high-impact collaboration, resulting in increased productivity and an ability to build a better product faster.

Laszlo Szalvay's picture Laszlo Szalvay
A Second Look at "Requirements Come Second"[article]

My article, "Requirements Come Second," in a recent issue of Agile Journal caused something of a fuss. The piece was picked up by several more sites and was widely commented on - both on websites and in my inbox. I'm not entirely surprised by this reaction, I've been discussing this research for a year or so now and often find it surprises people. Given this level of interest it is worth looking at how people responded. It is also worth restating the key message: Requirements are an essential part of maximizing business value, but when an organization is struggling with effectiveness it is best to start change by improving delivery.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Continuous Integration and Testing[article]

Lisa Crispin explains in this article how CI has become an absolute necessity for any software development team in this day and age. For those who have yet to fully embrace CI, this article gives you some great reasons you should, along with some helpful resources to get you started.

Lisa Crispin's picture Lisa Crispin
What's So Special About Specialists?[article]

If two projects in your organization require specific expertise that only one employee has, what do you do? Projects need to stay on track, but one person certainly can't be everywhere—or even two places—at once. In this column, Johanna Rothman shares a story of an organization stuck in the specialist mindset and offers some tips on how to escape if you're stuck there, too.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Do You Know Why You Are Doing That?[magazine]

It's easy to get caught up in the inertia of a project and forget to ask exactly what we are developing, who our customers are, and what their goals with our software might be. Few software projects have the time and budget to figure out what their project is through trial and error. Getting clarity on project focus not only helps productivity, working to create software that people actually need increases our chances for success.

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl
Feature Injection: Part One[article]

We are leaving the "last responsible moment" for a while. This month we start a discussion of Feature Injection, an analysis process based on real options and Kolb's circle of learning. The first episode ( of five ) introduces the "Information Arrival Processes.

StickyMinds Editorial's picture StickyMinds Editorial
Agile in the Downturn[article]

The current economic downturn is a new test for Agile, until now Agile has been promoted in a growing economy. Proponents of Agile have emphasized how it improve competitive advantage and helps a company out-compete its rivals.

Now companies are concerned with simple survival. Today's managers are concerned with cutting costs, improving cashflow and managing without credit. Organizational change and process improvement are not top of the agenda. Promoting Agile in this environment is something new.

Allan Kelly's picture Allan Kelly
Agile Development Infrastructure—on Premises or in the Cloud?[article]

How do companies face the challenge of setting up their infrastructure when they've just started agile development? One option is to move your infrastructure to the cloud. In this article, we help you decide what's the best fit for your team and project by addressing this issue head on.

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira
The three parts of a healthy development cycle Ending Right[article]

Jeff Patton has been building software using the agile approach for a while now. His observations of how others are implementing agile development fall short of complete, but he has noticed is that the adoption breaks down during the evaluation phase. In this column, Jeff goes through the agile development process and offers guidance on the correct way of conducting an agile evaluation during this phase in the software development lifecycle.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
The Trouble with Derivation[magazine]

This article discusses the dark underbelly of derivation: the fragile base class. It's possible to modify a base class in such a way that, even though you've improved its implementation and all your tests work just fine, you've nonetheless damaged the derived classes, perhaps fatally.

Allen I. Holub's picture Allen I. Holub
Three Pounds of Manure in a Two-Pound Sack[magazine]

Multitasking is not a magical cure for getting too much work done by too few resources. Listen in as Payson Hall eavesdrops on a coaching session between two managers about how to assign and prioritize work.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Learning from Experience: Software Testers Need More than Book Learning[magazine]

People often point to requirements documents and process manuals as ways to guide a new tester. Research into knowledge transfer, as described in The Social Life of Information, suggests that there is much more to the process of learning. Michael Bolton describes his own experiences on a new project, noting how the documentation helped ... and didn't.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Resistance Is Futile[magazine]

Why do so many people resist change, even when that change will be for the better? It's simple, really. Every change ends something, and endings mean loss. People don't like loss. Even the best changes mean something familiar will end.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
What's It Mean? ...Reducing Imprecision to Improve Verification[magazine]

Imprecise language makes understanding and, therefore, software verification more difficult. This article describes techniques for detecting and repairing vague and ambiguous software requirements.

David Gelperin's picture David Gelperin

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