Better Software Magazine Archive:

May/June 2001

IN THIS ISSUE

Why Testers Should Care About Patterns
By Brian Marick

Patterns, as described by the architect and theorist Christopher Alexander and his colleagues over the last thirty-five years, are a way of describing problems and customizable solutions. Patterns became popular in the software development field, and they've been applied to testing. Here, Brian Marick explores patterns and problem solving.

The Downsizing of High-Tech America
By Stefan Jaskiel

The success or failure of a downsized organization depends on the work force remaining after the storm. Before deciding to change jobs, survivors should carefully analyze their company's situation. Downsizing many be an indicator of poor economic peformance, or it may be just what the company needed in order to turn itself around. Employees who "weather the storm" may discover new opportunities for career advancement hidden among the ruins.

Confessions of a Lapsed Academic
By Elaine J. Weyuker

After almost twenty-five years as a professor, Elaine Weyuker left academia for full-time work at AT&T. Here, she shares how industry and academia can both benefit from collaborating.

A Look at T-VEC's Test Vector Generation System
By David Statezni

Before they started using T-VEC, David Statezni's group was manually creating and running requirements tests and separately creating and running code coverage tests. T-VEC's features allowed them to save time.

Reference Point: The Software Project Manager's Handbook
By Maureen A. O’Hara

The Software Project Manager's Handbook is an excellent reference for the experienced or moderately experienced project managers who are looking to expand their "bag of tricks." Use this book as a reference to bone up on a specific topic, or use the case studies and questions to help you design and implement a feasible project plan.

(Management) Process Improvement
By Esther Derby

Few people know intuitively how to manage process, projects, and people. Like anyone else learning a new skill, new managers need training, guidance, and mentoring. And just like technical staff, experienced managers need to keep their skills current and evolve with an evolving workplace. Technical Editor Esther Derby gives advice on how to develop your management abilities.

Making Numbers Count
By David D. Wilson
Leonidas Hepis

Numbers count—no two ways about it. But any numbers you include in a bug report should also include the appropriate units of measure. In an example from their experience, David Wilson and Leonidas Hepis explain the importance of using consistent terminology and units of measure.

Adventures in Automated Testing
By Pete TerMaat

Sometimes the best teacher is experience. Here's a look at four real-life projects, each with a different problem domain, testing approach, and test tool, and the lessons they offered in automatic test generation.

Requirements When the Field Isn't Green
By Karl E. Wiegers

Most advice on requirements gathering is targeted for brand-new "green-field" projects. What about evolving projects? Here's a seven-point strategy for those of us working on maintenance, updates, and legacy documentation.

At Your Service
By Robert Sabourin

A light and effective process with a service-oriented philosophy is key to meeting your organization's needs. Here are eight simple steps for creating a software engineering team that will turn customers into fans.

Trade Secrets from a Web Testing Expert
By Alberto Savoia

If you oversee a mission-critical Web site, you want to be able to predict how many users you can handle within acceptable response times. Here are three fundamental load testing concepts you can't do without.

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