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The Missing Link

The testing environment of many corporations is all too often composed of young employees thrust into the technical world fresh out of college. They are eager and completely overwhelmed with their new environment. Managers are called upon to teach these employees the ways of their company testing. The result is predictable. Managers with limited skills wind up with a work group that reflects these limitations. Even skilled managers with seasoned workers are facing significant problems. It is estimated that over eighty-five percent of all IT projects are delayed or delivered without meeting the predefined specifications by those authorizing the work. In addition, managers do not typically receive training in newer management methodologies such as project management. One organization that faced just such a dilemma was Software Engineering Services, Worldwide Revenue Capture Systems, Information Technology Division within Federal Express Services. Over a period of eighteen months, this department went from not meeting project load dates to an organization that delivered software on-time with fewer software defects. It is the purpose of this paper to provide a blueprint for other organizations looking to reengineer their testing processes based on this experience.

Karol Vastrick
Overview of STIR Improvement Is a Journey

So, you want to improve the quality of the testing done by your organization? The test quality improvement journey has several aspects to consider: the identification of improvement actions, which improvement action to start with and how to continue to improve. This document focuses on those improvement actions and ways to implement and improve on an existing set of good practices.

Karen Rosengren
Managing Distributed Software Development

Distributed development teams are becoming the norm for today's software projects. In lieu of close physical interaction, distributed teams are faced with the challenge of keeping software projects on track and keeping remote developers involved. This article provides some suggestions for keeping distributed software teams in touch and on target.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
XP, Iterative Development, and the Testing Community

A recent StickyMinds column criticized the new Agile development methods as bad for business. The column generated many reader comments, and prompted this response from industry veteran Cem Kaner. Read on for his defense of iterative approaches.

Cem Kaner
Not Getting What You Want?

The project plan is clear and the specifications are detailed. So why is the final product so different from what you expected? In this week's column, Nicole Auger brings a product manager's perspective on how features get changed or added during the development process. And she gives tips on how to get what you ordered, instead of a substitute.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
What To Do When What You're Doing Isn't Working

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. But if you keep trying the same things that worked for you in the past, and they're not working for you now, you might never succeed. In this column, Eileen Strider shows you how to tap new sources for fresh approaches to tackling problems.

Eileen Strider
XP: That Dog Don't Hunt

Books, Web sites, conferences, and "experts" in Extreme Programming abound these days. The latest StickyMinds RoundTable is devoted to the subject. Agile methods have their critics as well. Read this week's column by Bill Walton for some of his objections to the latest approaches, and see if you agree.

Bill Walton
How to Hire a QA Person

This article provides a guide for hiring a Software Quality Assurance (SQA) specialist. It provides tips on what questions to ask and what problems to avoid in order to hire the right person.

TechWell Contributor's picture TechWell Contributor
Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!

Maybe you're the kind of person who attacks a problem as soon as it crops up. Many times, it's good to act fast. But for a different point of view, read this week's column by Don Gray, who advises us to "take ten" and evaluate a situation before making a response.

Don Gray's picture Don Gray
But I Don't Have Time!

Overworked software professionals sometimes skip things they know they should do, because they "don't have time." In this week's column, Karl Wiegers asks you to think about what you really mean when you say you don't have time, and he cautions you to take time to make time.

Karl E. Wiegers


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