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Better Software Magazine Articles

Skills for Software Smokejumpers

Sometimes the only way to get a fire under control is to call in the smokejumpers. These specially trained firefighters parachute into a region to take on a blaze and contain it before any more damage is done. Some software development projects have smokejumpers, too. These professionals enter struggling projects midstream, assess the situation, and hopefully lead the team to a successful outcome.

Don Gray's picture Don Gray
Extreme Programming Is People

Agile agents of change, listen up. Do you remember the Agile Manifesto? How about the part about valuing people over process? J.B. Rainsberger fears that as Extreme Programming becomes more widespread, teachers, consultants, and mentors are losing sight of one of agile’s most important components—teamwork.

J.B. Rainsberger's picture J.B. Rainsberger
Kicking Off the Slow Software Movement

Do your team members jump into a project with both feet before they fully understand what problem they are trying to solve? We’ve all been convinced that for our customers faster is better. But is that really what they want? Jeff Patton thinks it’s time for us to slow down and focus on the quality of our products.

Jeff Patton's picture Jeff Patton
Games Stakeholders Play

Activity theory explores what is happening inside a person while he is acting. Find out how you can use it to make better decisions about what to build, create a motivation map, and ask what your stakeholders are thinking about besides using your system.

Alistair Cockburn's picture Alistair Cockburn
Small Releases Big Returns

Many teams work on several projects simultaneously, which is a mistake. By working on one project at a time and releasing early and often, you can achieve startling improvements in value for your stakeholders.

James Shore's picture James Shore
Drawing Out the Facts

A properly conducted discovery interview can lead to a wealth of information. Steven Smith explores some effective actions you can take before, during, and after the face-to-face interview to help you master the art of the interview process.

Steven M. Smith's picture Steven M. Smith
The Plight of the Servant Leader

A ScrumMaster's accomplishments often are overshadowed by the success of his team. But like every human, these leaders have a need for esteem and self-fulfillment. Learn ways you can help to increase your ScrumMaster's job satisfaction.

Stacia Broderick's picture Stacia Broderick
Do You Work in IT?

A self-professed latecomer to IT, Danny Faught has a new appreciation for the challenges faced when developing products for an internal customer rather than products for sale.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
Reap the Rewards of Recognition

Everyone likes to feel as if her hard work and good deeds have been appreciated. In this installment of Management Chronicles we discover how the words "thank you" can become a powerful management tool.

Naomi Karten's picture Naomi Karten
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

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