Better Software Articles

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An Arsenal of Answers

Be ready with an answer the next time you're asked, "How long will it take to test this product?" Dive beneath the surface of the question to understand what your manager really wants to know.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Piles of Sand

When was the last time you thought about floating-point arithmetic? Chuck Allison says in order to attain maximum accuracy we need to brush up on our floating-point number knowledge and get back to our roots.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
Feedback without Fear

Does the word "feedback" make you cringe? How about "configuration management"? Steve Berczuk has a pain-free plan for using your build environments and software configuration management system to provide the feedback that is essential to a successful agile project.

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk
Analysis Paralysis and the Law of Imperfect Plans

Humans don't handle complexity well, and we certainly can't see the future—which helps explain why our plans and designs so often are flawed. In response to this truth, our guest technical editor offers Payson’s Law of Imperfect Plans. Embracing this law can help you avoid the dreaded analysis paralysis and accept that perfection just isn't possible.

Payson Hall's picture Payson Hall
A Classic Example

Many systems architects have a technology—centric view of service-oriented architecture. This article emphasizes the need to understand the business side of SOA before tackling the technology and illustrates this need with a look back in time.

Dan North's picture Dan North
Testing Around the World

These days outsourcing is a pretty familiar concept in this industry. Has globalization hit your company yet? Naomi Mitsumori has been involved in sending testing work offshore, and she has six suggestions that can help you successfully manage the transition.

Naomi Mitsumori's picture Naomi Mitsumori
The QA Catchall

Pssst. You with the QA hat on. Would you be surprised to learn that you probably don't work in a QA department? Find out why what you are doing may not be QA, and discover some practices you can implement to insure that A really does stand for assurance in your organization.

Alan S. Koch's picture Alan S. Koch
Attack of the Fifty-Foot Favors

When your boss constantly has you doing favors for another group, it can get in the way of fulfilling your own responsibilities. Find out how defining your work mission to your manager and illustrating how "small" favors potentially cut into company revenue can help to get everyone on the same page.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
When in Doubt, Reframe

One often overlooked testing skill is understanding what our clients are saying--in addition to the words that actually come out of their mouths. Sometimes reframing a seemingly irrational response can lead to a higher level of communication and a more productive relationship.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
Indulge in Code Review

Code review is one quality initiative you can't afford to skip. Don't have time for a full-blown, line-by-line review? No problem. Discover how even something as simple as a peer review can benefit your project and ultimately improve your code.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding


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