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Let's Bury the Term Software Engineering

Softwareengineering is not an accurate way to describe what software designers anddevelopers do. We create software in an environment that is constantly changingto fulfill the expectations of businesspeople who aren't exactly sure what theywant. Does that sound like engineering? As I'll discuss in this article, physicalengineers deal with the universal laws of physics, but software designers and developersdeal with unrelenting change. By using the word engineering to describe our profession, we set ourselves up for staticprocesses and brittle team structures that tend to discourage change, ratherthan folding it into our everyday lives. Once we can shift our mindsets awayfrom engineering our software, people, and processes, we'll find that our teamsare more responsive, productive and change-readythan ever before.

 

Daryl  Kulak's picture Daryl Kulak
What to Do When the Right Person Doesn't Come Along

You've written the job description. You know just what you want in this employee. You have one tiny problem-you just can't find that person. Now what? Sometimes you can continue to wait for the right person to come along. Sometimes you choose to hire someone with inadequate skills. In either case, you don't have to just hope for the best. You have other proactive choices: hiring from within, hiring a candidate with some skills and training the rest, changing the way you work, and changing the job description.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Testing Your Worth

There's no doubt that the current job market is tight and a little shaky for test professionals. In a climate where entire test groups are being laid off or trimmed to the bone, Johanna Rothman notices a trend in test management priorities that you might want to consider. Follow the story of how one test manager determined tester ROI and how testers might approach increasing their value.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
A Comparison of IBM's Orthogonal Defect Classification to Hewlett Packard's Defect Origins, Types, and Modes

In the last three years, the author has worked with seven Software Development teams to help them categorize defects using Hewlett Packard's Defect Origins, Types, and Modes. More recently, the author has assisted a software testing and development organization analyze the results of defects categorized using IBM's Orthogonal Defect Classification (ODC).

John Huber's picture John Huber
License to Hack

Is your organization doing Extreme Programming or one of the other agile methods? Are they considering it? Before you jump on the latest methodology bandwagon, you should make sure you're not just giving your developers a license to hack. Karl Wiegers provides some insight into how agile development models can be misused and how you can ensure that your process improvement effort has the best chance to be effective.

Karl E. Wiegers's picture Karl E. Wiegers
The Problem Isn't Always THE Problem

When things go awry, sometimes the first problem you see is not The Problem but just a product of its symptoms. But if problems can hide behind other problems, how can you learn to spot the true culprit at the source of your dilemma? Elisabeth Hendrickson shares some lessons she's learned about "The Problem."

Elisabeth Hendrickson's picture Elisabeth Hendrickson
Exploratory Planning

StickyMinds columnist James Bach has used this space to describe and discuss Exploratory Testing, a style of testing that emphasizes product exploration and fluid test design and execution. In this week's column, test consultant Lee Copeland adds his own twist to the exploratory premise.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
7 Keys to Building Great Work Teams

Successful projects depend on how well the team works together. Elements that lead to success include commitment, contribution, good communication, and cooperation. Cooperation itself includes factors such as follow-through, timeliness, and others. Conflict management and change management are also important. This article analyzes and explains all of these elements that constitute a productive and successful team.

Suzanne Willis Zoglio's picture Suzanne Willis Zoglio
Will Tighter Deadlines Improve Software Quality?

It may sound counterintuitive at first, but making tighter deadlines may improve software quality. When deadlines are strictly adhered to, the panic and rush as the deadline approaches can undermine quality of product. Heller discusses how a looser, but earlier deadline can encourage a healthier environment, and higher quality.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Across the Great Divide

Many bemoan the strained relationship between testers and developers. But while we can't force testers and developers to see eye to eye on everything, we can reduce some of the tension by making simple changes in the way we communicate. Learn some great tips and tricks in this article.

Susan Joslyn's picture Susan Joslyn

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