personal improvement

Articles

leader in front of team Discovering Your Leadership Drive

Some people are born with the traits most suited to becoming an effective leader. Others may find that they have to work a lot harder to achieve success in a leadership role. But each of us has some innate potential to step up and take charge. If your team needs direction, don't be afraid to discover whether you could be the one to provide it.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs
Thinking Critically about Software Development BSC West 2015 Keynote: Better Thinking for Better Software: Thinking Critically about Software Development

Software developer Laurent Bossavit delivered the second keynote presentation, about why we need to think more critically about software development. He began his presentation by saying his intention was to make you question what you know—or what you think you know.

Beth Romanik's picture Beth Romanik
Communication and Culture Communication and Culture

Communication styles vary significantly from one person to another, due to personal tendencies and cultural influences. Keeping this in mind is especially important these days, with so much global connectivity. The DevOps transformation compels us to revisit the way we manage communication and culture and be mindful of our interactions with coworkers.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs
Learning from Mistakes Positive Psychology and Learning from Mistakes

Mistakes happen. But team members can engage in very dysfunctional behavior after they have made mistakes—often because their organizations punish mistakes and cause damage trying to cover them up. Here’s what we learn from positive psychology about creating an environment where employees can be empowered to address their mistakes in an open, honest manner.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs

Better Software Magazine Articles

tolerate You Get What You Tolerate

We’ve all worked with a talented developer who can be a frustrating challenge to manage. First-time managers may unknowingly encourage bad behavior. There are several innovative ways to resolve the situation.

Andy Kaufman's picture Andy Kaufman
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WAY WE LEARN How Technology Is Changing the Way We Learn

Modern technologies like virtual reality, cloud-based systems, and measurement of content have disrupted how we learn. Standards have evolved to improve how learning material can be published to any device.

Troy Tolle's picture Troy Tolle
Do You Really Want to Be a Manager Do You Really Want to Be a Manager?

The majority of managers are promoted due to their software development expertise. But becoming a successful manager requires a drastic change of focus. There is a set of expectations to consider before making that leap to the “dark side.”

Ron Lichty's picture Ron Lichty MW Mantle
overwhelmed at work Saying No to More Work

We’ve all been placed in the situation where a boss asks you to perform more work than you can possibly handle. Johanna Rothman knows firsthand that there is a better way to respond that benefits you and your manager.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

Interviews

8 Ways to Ruin Your One-on-Ones: An Interview with Jason Wick
Video

In this interview, Jason Wick, senior manager at MakeMusic, discusses his STAREAST presentation about eight ways you could be making your one-on-one meetings completely useless. He discusses in depth what he feels is the number one way to ruin these meetings: holding back on feedback. He also offers advice on how you can educate your team leader to avoid the pitfalls that lead to ineffective one-on-ones.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Julie Gardiner Emotional Intelligence in Testing: An Interview with Julie Gardiner
Video

Julie Gardiner, head of QA at Testing Rainmaker Limited, discusses the STAR conferences Test Lab she leads, which allows people to attend virtually and even win prizes for best test report and best bug report. She also talks about her upcoming book, and why emotional awareness, self-management, empathy, and relationship building are important skills for testers.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Experiences at STAREAST 2018: An Interview with Michael Sowers
Video

Michael Sowers, TechWell’s IT director and program chair for STAREAST 2018, discusses some of the activities, presentations and networking opportunities at the event. He also discusses what to expect at the all-new Agile Testing Days.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Geoff Meyer How Machines Will Impact the Way You Test Software: An Interview with Geoff Meyer

In this interview, Geoff Meyer, a test architect in the Dell EMC infrastructure solutions group, discusses whether or not testers should be nervous about artificial intelligence, what testers can do right now to keep up with the times, and when AI is most useful for software teams.

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin

Conference Presentations

Agile DevOps West Hacks to Becoming a Mindful Agile Tester
Slideshow

Have you ever felt like you've been working on multiple tasks all day long, but at the end of the day when you review your work, you realize you haven’t accomplished anything concrete? After years of working in the tech industry, Raj Subramanian realized he was not able to accomplish any task with complete focus and attention. So in 2017, he started a six-month journey of self-exploration and discovery. He read books; listened to podcasts on mindfulness, productivity, leadership, and self-motivation; and tried to apply various concepts learned from this journey in his daily tasks at the workplace. Raj will share the results of this experiment and describe how he was able to get more focus, improve his critical thinking skills, figure out a way to prioritize his time, and make himself more approachable to people in his personal and professional life.

Raj Subramanian
STAREAST Creative Trespassing: Sneak More Imagination into Your Work and Get More Done
Slideshow

After years of smuggling creativity into the corporate sector without getting busted, Tania Katan has learned that we don’t need to be in a job that is distinctly creative in order to be distinctly creative in our job. In fact, no matter how tedious the task or how buttoned-up the office environment, we can all learn to conjure imagination anywhere, anytime, by choosing to stand out rather than fit in. Join Tania for some hilarious stories, wacky exercises for flexing your creative muscles, and engaging ideas like “Fire Hierarchy” and “Transform the Norm.” You will leave with tools and strategies for taking more creative risks, leading with more imagination, and embracing obstacles as an opportunity to accelerate growth, and you’ll gain the ability to find inspiration where others see only limitations.

Tania Katan
STARWEST 2018 Evolution—Not Revolution: Transforming Your Testing
Slideshow

You may have heard the saying “The only constant on any project is change.” Yet the prospect of change is rarely welcomed—either personally or professionally. How is it that we still believe that these changes apply to others but not to us? Julie Gardiner says that now is the time to re-evaluate and transform how we do testing in order to deliver more value to organizations—from a people, processes, and tools perspective. Join Julie as she shares current experiences of transformations and lessons learned within different organizations. She discusses an automation framework that ended up being thrown away, revamping processes, and tools and techniques to transform your testing. This thought-provoking session will give you the courage and ideas for how you can add even more value to your company.

Julie Gardiner
STARWEST 2018 The Art of Software Investigation
Slideshow

Although processes and tools play an important role in software testing, the most important testing tool is the mind. Like scientists, testers search for new knowledge and share discoveries—hopefully for the betterment of people’s lives. More than sixty years ago, William I.B. Beveridge reframed discussion of scientific research in his classic book The Art of Scientific Investigation. Rather than add to the many texts on the scientific method, he focused on the mind of the scientist. Join Ben Simo as he applies Beveridge’s principles and techniques for scientific investigation to software testing today. Learn to discover and communicate new knowledge that matters; to think—and test—like scientists; and to continually prepare, experiment, exploit chance, imagine productively, apply intuition and reason, tune observation, and overcome resistance.

Ben Simo

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