The Latest

Meaningful Metrics[magazine]

Your numbers are solid and your graphs are works of art. Now boost your metrics' value through the roof with some simple annotations that will put all that data in context.

Anna S. W. Allison's picture Anna S. W. Allison
Web Page Response Time 101: A primer[magazine]

Online sites lose billions of dollars every year due to sluggish performance speed and user bailouts. Here are four laws of Web site performance that will help you understand response times and deal with your "abandonment issues."

Alberto Savoia's picture Alberto Savoia
Orthogonally Speaking: Deriving a Suitable Set of Test Cases[magazine]

Is your testing effort facing an impossibly wide choice of test parameters? Shooting in the dark can yield hit-and-miss results--and that’s just not very effective. When your testing effort faces an impossibly wide choice of test parameters, the Orthogonal Array Testing System technique can be a very useful method for deriving a suitable set of test cases.

Elfriede Dustin's picture Elfriede Dustin
The Human Side of Process Improvement[magazine]

Interpersonal relationships can make the difference between effective and ineffective technical initiatives. Here are ways to address this frequently neglected aspect of organizational change.

Judah Mogilensky's picture Judah Mogilensky
Customer Satisfaction: What to Ask, How to Ask, and Who to Ask[magazine]

Improving customer satisfaction should be a primary goal of process improvement programs. So how satisfied are our customers? One of the best ways to find out is to ask them. Here are techniques for creating a useful survey and interpreting the results.

Linda Westfall's picture Linda Westfall
Escaping the Clutches of Zombie Projects[magazine]

Timely and accurate information is often your only silver bullet against interminable and doomed projects. Learn how to deliver bad news in such a way that Senior Management hears it and acts promptly.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
Organize Your Problem Tracking System[magazine]

Do you have a bug database or defect tracking system? Whether you call them PRs, CRs, SPRs, or some other acronym, logging your software problems into a database rates as one of the simplest yet most effective things you can do to improve product quality. Sometimes these databases turn into the electronic equivalent of a “roach motel” trap--the bugs go in but they don’t come out!

Barry Mirrer's picture Barry Mirrer
Looking Under the Hood[magazine]

Understanding a program's inner workings, dataflows, and bug history can enable you to build more robust tests. Here are pointers on investigating a system's internal design as a tool for effective testing.

Len DiMaggio's picture Len DiMaggio
Juggling Concurrent Releases[magazine]

Every day you are faced with juggling resources and attention between customer escalations, current development projects, and planning for the future. With development cycles measured in weeks, you have at least three releases for each product. Multiply that by the number of projects under your responsibility, and you have a dozen or more releases to manage simultaneously.

Neal Reizer's picture Neal Reizer
Getting the Most from Outsourcing[magazine]

Outsourcing can be a great way to augment your software efforts. Here are guidelines to help you choose the right provider and ensure that you get what you paid for.

Eric Patel's picture Eric Patel
Matching ISO 9000 Registration to Your Organization[magazine]

The chances of getting use from your ISO 9000 certification are greatly enhanced by a registration effort that reflects the real goals and operating principles of your organization. Here are some lessons on how to tailor your effort.

Mark Johnson's picture Mark Johnson
Risky Beginnings: How to Start Software Projects Off on the Right Foot[magazine]

Esther Derby's opening comments set up the thrust of her enlightening article: "Have you ever managed a project that went directly, hopelessly, and irretrievably to hell? Would you like to avoid some of the traps so your project doesn’t end up there?"

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
The Quality Barometer[magazine]

A QA manager is often faced with measuring the impossible. Here is a simple, post-ship metric to help judge the test effort's effectiveness. The Quality Barometer method uses the bug counts found during testing, calculates a percentage, and then uses that percentage as the defect target number that can be tolerated after shipment.

George Hamblen's picture George Hamblen
Your Piece of the Pie[magazine]

More than 1,800 industry professionals responded to the third annual STQE/StickyMinds salary poll. The results suggest that, although it has been an unsettling year, the picture doesn't look all that bad for software QA professionals.

Alyn Wambeke's picture Alyn Wambeke
Perspectives from a Test Manager: Four Keys to Keeping Your Testing on Track[magazine]

This article highlights four keys to getting better organized: 1. A common set of ground rules on the test progress, defect reporting, and verification; 2. The ability to convey how your team’s testing is going--on a frequent basis; 3. Knowing what needs to be tested--and being able to stand behind the reasons why; 4. Maintaining good communication with the development leaders to help move the product through the development phases--being proactive rather than reactive.

Chris DeNardis's picture Chris DeNardis

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