Articles

Release Management and Deployments: Why Is This So Important?

Why do we wait to discuss releases and deployments until the last minute? Is this a result of our lack of planning and knowledge, or is there a deeper reason why we fail to plan properly? Joe Townsend digs into the release and deployment portions of the SDLC to try to shed some light on why we tend to neglect these crucial steps.

Joe Townsend's picture Joe Townsend
Five Minutes Ahead of the Boot

"There's that same kind of bug I found last week. When will they learn? When can I apply my energy to preventing bugs instead? Isn't that a more noble profession?" says the disgruntled tester. You may think that Quality Assurance is the next logical step in your testing career, but Danny Faught has been down that path and he begs to differ. In this week's column, we find out he's not the only one who feels that way.

Danny R. Faught's picture Danny R. Faught
The Goldilocks Parable: How Much Process Is Just Right

Getting process improvement "just right" is difficult. Go too far in the definition of processes, and it really does get too hot, with the heat coming from the people trying to use the processes. On the other hand process definitions that are too short to contain anything of value will leave users in the cold, and then there will be no improvement in the organization. Ed Weller states that a useful process improvement activity develops a set of process artifacts that meets the needs of the user. This helps the organization capture "tribal lore" and cast it into a set of process definitions that eliminates waste and improves time-to-market.

Ed Weller's picture Ed Weller
QA Preventing Failure Suffering for Success

One of the most valuable services a QA group provides is preventing failure. Ironically if the group succeeds at this, QA might find themselves unpopular or out of a job. Linda Hayes reveals how typical methods of measuring success can actually cause failure. Especially if success is achieved at the loser's expense.

Linda Hayes's picture Linda Hayes

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Impossibility of Estimating Software The Impossibility of Estimating Software

Estimating software schedules must be an art, not a science. With so many techniques published on the subject, why is it so difficult? It has to do with the human element and past project knowledge.

Monetization 2.0: The Evolution of Software Licensing

The cloud and the rapid migration to mobile devices and the Internet of Things have made traditional software licensing schemes obsolete. Omkar describes new software monetization based on business, pricing models, and usage.

Omkarnath Munipalle's picture Omkarnath Munipalle
Can Test Estimation Be à la Carte?

In this installment of FAQ, Rob Sabourin discusses the benefits of providing stakeholders a "menu" of past projects to help better estimate their current project's testing needs.

Robert Sabourin's picture Robert Sabourin
Piece By Piece: Test Estimation and Planning in Agile Teams

The iterative agile methodology provides a clearer vision, smaller time scale, and closer planning horizon. The authors look at approaches to estimation and planning, from product backlog grooming to task-estimating tables and more.

Interviews

Larry Putnam Jr. discusses software estimation and project planning From Proposal to Project: An Interview with Larry Putnam Jr.
Video

Larry Putnam Jr., co-chief executive officer at QSM, sits down to talk about the importance of the proposal when executing a successful project, five key questions that should be answered before any project starts, and how software estimation ties into the proposal process.

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps East To Estimate or Not to Estimate: A Panel Discussion
Slideshow

When will you deliver that feature? How much will this project cost? Which features can I have in four weeks? These are all reasonable questions that both management and customers need answered, and traditionally, we’ve used estimates to provide such answers. But estimates can turn into commitments, dollars get spent based on misinformation, features end up misaligned with business needs, and all parties involved end up feeling misled and frustrated. The key question is, can we still make decisions without traditional estimates? Join us as our panel of experts discuss this question and many more. The panel will explore how teams can use #NoEstimates thinking to meet the needs of their stakeholders, how to maintain alignment without estimates, and pragmatic ways to move the focus from estimates to metrics and measures that enable teams to deliver high-quality products that will delight their customers.

Ryan Ripley
STARWEST 2018 Improve Planning Estimates by Reducing Your Human Biases
Slideshow

Are you puzzled about why your estimate turned out wrong, or stressed from working to meet an impossible deadline? Some teams on inaccurately estimated projects suffer stress, burnout, and poor quality as pressure is applied to stick to an unrealistic schedule. Such project teams also descend into irrational decision-making—with potentially catastrophic consequences. Frustratingly, even when teams perform well, they are often judged by their failure to meet impossible deadlines. Andrew Brown will show how estimation errors are caused not just by new technology or intentionally manipulated estimations, but also from limitations in the way we think. Andrew will explain how cognitive biases contribute to estimation errors and show how to mitigate these biases. Learn how the planning fallacy, anchoring effect, and optimistic bias contribute to estimation errors and lead to irrational decision-making.

Andrew Brown
STARWEST 2018 Testing In The Dark
Slideshow

Isn’t it amazing? Stakeholders drop software on our desks and expect us to test it—without any requirements, design, or product knowledge whatsoever. About the only clear thing is the absurd and unrealistic deadline. We are expected to bend over backward, spread magic pixie dust, and heroically test quality into a product we have never heard of before. But testing in the dark is not impossible, and as Rob Sabourin shows, it can even be a very valuable and fun experience. Learn strategies to emerge from a murky fog into clear, meaningful quality insights and leverage unlikely sources about what stakeholders care about and what users really need the software to do. Rob introduces you to methods of reconnaissance-style, charter-driven, and session-based exploratory testing and help you provide meaningful estimates to stakeholders with minimal hard information about the software under test.

Rob Sabourin
BSE Testing To Estimate or Not to Estimate, is that the Question?
Slideshow

Wondering what NoEstimates means in practice, or why you would want to move toward NoEstimates? Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz or read Vasco Duarte’s book. Maybe you simply want to understand how you can spend less time estimating and more time delivering working software...

Matthew Phillip

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