Better Software Magazine Articles

When Software Smells Bad

Most software needs to be "maintainable" and have high "internal quality." But what does that mean in practical terms? Code smells form a vocabulary for discussing code quality and how well suited code might be to change. The smells also provide good indications as to what to refactor and how.

Getting Agile With User-Centered Design

Agile practices go a long way toward providing value to our customers. But in today's market, we must endeavor to adopt a more user-centered approach to create products our customers can't live without.

Darius Kumana Jon Dickinson
How to Fail Less and Enjoy More

The shiniest software application in the world, shipped on time and under budget, is a failure if it doesn't make someone's job easier. Failures cost us customers and money. How can we design software that our customers want to use and that will reduce our cost of failure?

Frédéric Boulanger
Ready, Aim, Release

Think you know what your customer wants? Can you afford to be wrong? Based on the concept of tracer ammunition, which allows a shooter to follow the path of a bullet toward its target and adjust his aim as needed, tracer bullet software development can help you better understand your users’ wants so you can build a product that hits the mark.

Jared Richardson
Looks Do Matter

In a previous article published on this site, "Testing the Bold and the Beautiful" (May 2001), the author received many thoughtful comments and questions about the importance of aesthetics in software. This paper was inspired in part from those questions. It clarifies the difference between aesthetic testing and usability testing. The paper makes the business case for "beauty testing" and argues that an ugly UI can undermine the bottom line. It offers methods and a survey-template for successful aesthetic testing. The paper concludes with a list of "Facts and Myths, Dos and Don'ts."

Yogita Sahoo's picture Yogita Sahoo
I Didn't Know I Needed That

There is a natural relationship between the features in a product and the customer's satisfaction with that product, but not every feature influences customers in the same way. The best plan for satisfying customers, as author Mike Cohn explains, is to give them what they want.

Mike Cohn's picture Mike Cohn
STARWEST 2005: Testing Dialogues - Technical Issues

Is there an important technical test issue bothering you? Or, as a test engineer, are you looking for some career advice? If so, join experienced facilitators Esther Derby and Elisabeth Hendrickson for "Testing Dialogues-Technical Issues." Practice the power of group problem solving and develop novel approaches to solving your big problem. This double-track session takes on technical issues, such as automation challenges, model-based testing, testing immature technologies, open source test tools, testing web services, and career development. You name it! Share your expertise and experiences, learn from the challenges and successes of others, and generate new topics in real-time. Discussions are structured in a framework so that participants receive a summary of their work product after the conference.

Esther Derby, Esther Derby Associates Inc
Achieving Meaningful Metrics from Your Test Automation Tools

In addition to the efficiency improvements you expect from automated testing tools, you can-and should-expect them to provide valuable metrics to help manage your testing effort. By exploiting the programmability of automation tools, you can support the measurement and reporting aspects of your department. Learn how Jack Frank employs these tools with minimal effort to create test execution
status reports, coverage metrics, and other key management reports. Learn what measurement data your automation tool needs to log for later reporting. See examples of the operational reports his automation tools generate, including run/re-run/not run, pass/fail, percent complete, and percent of overall system tested. Take with you examples of senior management reports, including Jack's favorite, "My Bosses' Boss Test Status Report"-names will be changed to hide the guilty. Regardless of the

Jack Frank, Mosaic Inc
Test Improvement for Highly Reliable NYSE Trading Systems

With billions of dollars changing hands every day, financial trading systems demand extremely high accuracy and reliability. So, how do you improve test process performance in the areas of time to market and efficiency and at the same time reduce failures? Over the last three years, using process and project measurement data as a guide, SIAC has focused on doing exactly that. Steve Boycan highlights the key elements of the process changes that have led to SIAC's current performance: the use of a rigorous requirements engineering process; controlled parallel and iterative work flows; changes to the level of abstraction in test documentation; emphasis on test planning, analysis, and design; causal analysis; and improving the test team's skills.

Steve Boycan, SIAC
What's the Buzz

Need information but don’t have time to wade through bookracks looking for that perfect reference? The StickyMinds.com Books Guide can help. Get the scoop from StickyMinds.com members on three books that can keep you up to date on the latest issues.

StickyMinds Editorial's picture StickyMinds Editorial

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