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Evidence for Evolution

What important lessons can we learn from the evolution of the programming language Lisp? Brian Marick recounts the environment that enabled its creation and recommends we incorporate some of the Lisper practices into our own projects.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick
Know What's at Stake

Everyone knows the importance of well-defined functional requirements. We want our products to work, don't we? But how many of us are paying as much attention to defining our non-functional requirements? In this historically focused feature, we learn from past mistakes the potentially disastrous results of inadequately tested NFRs.

PMBOK to Agile

Extreme Programming has increased in popularity in recent years, but shifting your organization away from the Project Management Body of Knowledge to agile methodologies can be a real challenge. David Christiansen has outlined three common obstacles to incorporating agile and offers ways to overcome them.

David Christiansen's picture David Christiansen
The Right Stuff: Four Small Steps for Testers One Giant Leap for Risk Mitigation

In the countdown to a product release, leaving load testing for last is a risky maneuver. In this month's cover story, Rex Black and Barton Layne present a case study of a project on which they adhered to a four-step strategy. By following these four steps, they were able to alleviate those nasty, end-of-project performance surprises.

Barton Layne's picture Barton Layne Rex Black
Seasons of Software Development

In this installment of Management Chronicles, Peter Clark introduces us to a programmer who is trying unsuccessfully to complete a project mired in underestimation. Find out what you can do to keep your estimates in the free and clear.

Peter Clark's picture Peter Clark
The Roof Is Going to Go

As one poor German tourist can attest, idioms don't translate. But Chuck Allison thinks programmers should become "native speakers" of the programming languages they use. This includes using and understanding them, idioms and all.

Chuck Allison's picture Chuck Allison
The Magic 8 Ball of Testing

Have you ever wished for a tool to help you define and refine requirements and make your programs more testable? OClear could be the tool you've been waiting for.

Michael Bolton's picture Michael Bolton
The Death Spiral

Users don't have to be doomed to the nightmare of software fraught with defects that should have been fixed before release. Time spent testing now can save you from the Death Spiral later. Remember: If you don't have time to do it right, how will you have time to do it over . . . and over . . . and over?

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes
The Exceptional Exception

So much more than a bucket for your errors, exceptions can be a valuable tool that lets you communicate to your clients not only that there is a problem but why and where the code failed.

Tod Golding's picture Tod Golding
There's Nothing Like the Real Thing

Ever wondered why one team's automated tests pass but your tests of the same software fail? Jonathan Kohl has an explanation. Perhaps we should all take a page from Marvin Gaye's songbook and test our project ideals in real-world environments. After all, "there ain't nothin' like the real thing."

Jonathan Kohl's picture Jonathan Kohl

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