Better Software Magazine Archive:

Sep/Oct 2001

IN THIS ISSUE

A Look at Mercury's TestDirector 7i
By Arne Henne

Arne Henne looks at HP (Mercury Interactive) TestDirector and concludes that this test management tool improves the effectiveness of testing in almost any environment. It incorporates all aspects of the testing--requirements management, planning, scheduling, running tests, defect tracking--into a single browser-based application.

What Do They Pay You to Do?
By Johanna Rothman

Don't assume that because you have a title or a job description that you can take either one as literal truth. Do you really know what your company pays you to do? Understanding why you were hired can help you assess whether your company's expectations are a match with the personal mission that motivates you.

Walking the Fine Line between Helpful and Harmful
By Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson examines user interface problems caused by designers trying to rearrange users' data. He gives examples of software that is too helpful, and concludes that software should support users in their management of displays without managing the displays for them.

Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations
By Don Gray

Don Gray recommends Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations by Robert D. Austin. The book is not a five-step program toward measurement success; instead, it gives an in-depth look at what makes or breaks measurement systems. The book presents information in an intuitive way; if you understand algebra and simple logic, you will understand what Austin is presenting.

Revisiting Your Piece of the Pie: Money in the New Millennium
By Alyn Wambeke

More than 1,800 industry professionals responded to the third annual STQE/StickyMinds salary poll. The results suggest that, although it has been an unsettling year, the picture doesn't look all that bad for software QA professionals.

Usability Testing
By Bob Stahl

Observing users getting lost in an awkward application is easy; identifying, categorizing, and communicating those snags to your developers is the tricky part. Here's a proven method for success.

Distributed Teams
By John Suzuki

The world may be getting smaller, but managing far-flung workgroups can still be a big challenge. Here are some common barriers to coordinating distributed teams, and some guidelines for making the most out of limited face time.

How Good Is This Software?—A Model to Measure Subjective Data
By Andy Roth

How do you really know how good your software is? Many traditional measures only look at the quantitative aspects of quality. Here's a model to measure and analyze subjective—or qualitative—data about software quality.

Orthogonally Speaking: Deriving a Suitable Set of Test Cases
By Elfriede Dustin

Is your testing effort facing an impossibly wide choice of test parameters? Shooting in the dark can yield hit-and-miss results--and that’s just not very effective. When your testing effort faces an impossibly wide choice of test parameters, the Orthogonal Array Testing System technique can be a very useful method for deriving a suitable set of test cases.

Escaping the Clutches of Zombie Projects
By Payson Hall

Timely and accurate information is often your only silver bullet against interminable and doomed projects. Learn how to deliver bad news in such a way that Senior Management hears it and acts promptly.

Agile Development
By Brian Marick

Technical Editor Brian Marick explains the values behind the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. Above all, Agile practitioners value: individuals and interactions; working software; customer collaboration; and responding to change.

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