Better Software Magazine Archive: Jan/Feb 1999

IN THIS ISSUE

Welcome to Software Testing and Quality Engineering
By Brian Marick

Technical Editor Brian Marick introduces the first issue of STQE magazine. He says the magazine "is for people who get their hands dirty, whether by writing tests, cranking out code, managing others, or--perhaps the hardest task of all--being the internal QA consultant who has no direct authority but must somehow persuade ten projects with impossible deadlines to think strategically."

Do Your Interviewing Homework
By Joe Yakich

In the nerve-wracking world of job interviews, a little preparation can go a long way toward a positive experience. In this article, we'll examine some pointers for doing the research that can mean the difference between a shot in the dark and a sure thing.

How We Get More Power from Existing Tests
By Richard Schooler

Richard Schooler works with the development and testing of InCert's software behavior analysis tools. In this article, Schooler describes how InCert leveraged their automated tests by thinking carefully about changes that allowed test reuse.

Finding Answers on the Net
By Brian Marick

The Internet provides a wealth of information on software quality and testing. However, finding that information can be a challenge. In this first edition of Web Watch, Brian Marick tells you how to start your search.

A look at QARun, a GUI test automation tool
By Noel Nyman

QACenter provides an integrated solution that will help you test GUI applications and track the bugs you find. As with most tool suites, you get the best results if you use all the features. If you don't need some parts of QACenter, the integration is less important to you. Then the strengths and weaknesses of the individual tools, like QARun, are more significant.

Testing and Quality: Are You As Bored As I Am?
By Robert Glass

The next time someone says to you something like, "You can't test quality into a software project," you might reply, "Well, you can't manage it in either." There may be a pregnant pause, but perhaps it will lead to thoughtful discussions about testing and quality. At the very least, it'll make those twin subjects a whole lot less (shh!) Dullsville and boring!

It's January 1, 2000 . . . What Have You Overlooked?
By Robin F. Goldsmith

You have a Y2K effort in place, and it's all about preparation for an event you know is coming. What have you overlooked that’s going to bite you? This article will help give you 20-20 foresight to anticipate potential "gotchas."

Reporting Systems: Tracking the Details
By Len DiMaggio

If you're paying the bill for all the graphics, glitz, and applets, you're going to want to have some evidence that thousands of potential customers have actually seen your Web site. Here is a step-by-step recipe for testing system, network, and Internet reporting systems.

What's With These Buffer Overrun Bugs?
By Bob Johnson

Many of the culprits responsible for security breaches found on corporate networks and the Internet today have used buffer overrun problems as the main way to exploit the system. Here is an examination of buffer overrun bugs and how to prevent them.

Finding the Signal through the Noise
By Jarrett Rosenberg

A major challenge for software professionals interpreting data is deciding what's real and what isn't, what matters and what doesn't. A useful way to think about it is that you are trying to find the signal in the noise produced by random variation and error. Here is advice on how to extract the useful information from the "noise."

Weinberg on the Essential Team
By Gerald M. Weinberg

The team is the basic design unit for software engineering processes. Within the team, reviewers can learn without having to admit to ignorance, and their learning is always relevant to the team's tasks. When there are multiple eyes, there are many more chances to see a fault. Learn how to create and get the most from your team.

User-Driven Design
By Donald G Gause
Brian Lawrence

It doesn't matter when you deliver, if you build the wrong product. Development entails inferences and assumptions about the user, which are supposed to guide the build-process. However, even if development successfully matches the inferences and assumptions about the user, if those criteria don't match the Real User, the product fails. This article talks about how to incorporate the user into the requirements and design phase.

Evaluating Tools
By Elisabeth Hendrickson

You, or perhaps your manager, have decided that it's time to choose a tool. Where do you begin? How do you go about comparing them? This article provides a five-step process for comparing, evaluating, and finally choosing the right tool for your organization.

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