The Latest

Measuring Up[magazine]

You measure because you want to make better-informed decisions. But even simple, harmless-looking measures can be dangerous. For example, they can give you a nice, clear picture of an illusion. Do you want to base your decisions on illusions? Technical Editor Brian Lawrence advises that, before you dive into measuring anything, ask yourself, "Will measuring do more harm than good?"

Brian Lawrence
(Management) Process Improvement[magazine]

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.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Finding Patterns in Software[magazine]

"Patterns" have caught on among software designers, especially those working on object-oriented systems. More recently, patterns have been applied to organizational behavior, including patterns for organizing independent test groups. Brian Marick provides Web resources on the study of patterns.

Brian Marick
Big Ball of Mud[magazine]

Much of recent systems theory revolves around applying ideal software development patterns. Big Ball of Mud, in contrast, is for those of us who live and work in the real world, where most systems emerge haphazardly from minimally controlled chaos under constrained development conditions. Bar Biszick recommends and describes the Big Ball of Mud Web site.

Bar Biszick
Interviewing Your Interviewer[magazine]

Job interviews are stressful. Often, people are so eager to impress the interviewer that they don't find out critical information about the company and the position. But it's just as important for you to be convinced of the position's suitability for you as it is for the company to be convinced of your suitability for the position. If you ask the right questions, interviews can be much more productive at helping you avoid poorly managed, unhappy projects and zero in on well-run, professional projects.

Joe Yakich
Book Review: Mastering the Requirements Process[magazine]

Brian Lawrence points to Mastering the Requirements Process as a valuable reference book. The book presents a complete step-by-step method for gathering, modeling, and specifying requirements. Along the way the authors offer easy-to-understand and appropriate examples that nicely illustrate how to apply their techniques.

Brian Lawrence
Managers Are Just for Budget Cutting, Right?[magazine]

Luisa Consolini tells us why the managerial side of quality is as important as the technical side. The precepts she imparts are: 1) there is something as bad as not doing testing—not managing it; 2) if you don't manage quality, you won't improve it just by applying some fancy quality techniques; and 3) people are not second to quality.

Luisa Consolini
Welcome to Software Testing and Quality Engineering[magazine]

Technical Editor Brian Marick introduces the first issue of STQE magazine. He says the magazine "is for people who get their hands dirty, whether by writing tests, cranking out code, managing others, or--perhaps the hardest task of all--being the internal QA consultant who has no direct authority but must somehow persuade ten projects with impossible deadlines to think strategically."

Brian Marick
The Ariane 5: A Smashing Success[magazine]

On June 4, 1996, the maiden flight of the Ariane 5 satellite launcher ended spectacularly after only forty seconds, with bits of the $67 billion vehicle and its payload spread over a fairly large part of French Guiana. The report issued July 19 by the International Inquiry Board noted that the fiery crash was due to a "chain of technical events." The details of that particular chain of events are reviewed here.

Les Hatton
What's in a Name?[magazine]

Technical Editor Brian Marick outlines a goal for the magazine and its readers: gradual process improvement, driven by immediate needs.

Brian Marick
How to Survive the Software Swamp[magazine]

For a project to make long-term progress, it must build a platform of basic engineering practices. On this platform are set the ladders of advanced techniques that you select using risk analysis. Properly managed, these processes help you avoid falling back into the swamp whenever the project is under pressure.

Michael Deck
Quality Assurance and Testing[magazine]

Brian Marick argues for using testers at the requirements analysis stage of a project. He says, "While QA is primarily about process, testing—my specialty—is about product. Whatever else a tester might do, she certainly eventually exercises the product with the aim of discovering problems a user might encounter. This essay is about that 'whatever else' the tester does."

Brian Marick
A Look at Rational SQA Robot[magazine]

Noel Nyman continues sharing his experiences of working in the Microsoft WindowsNT Group, where he evaluated several automation tools for the Applications Test team. This is the second installment in a series.

Noel Nyman
Normal Processes[magazine]

Using a sociological theory as his starting point, Technical Editor Brian Marick shows how sometimes systems can encourage local problems to blossom into system-wide catastrophes.

Brian Marick
Do Your Interviewing Homework[magazine]

In the nerve-wracking world of job interviews, a little preparation can go a long way toward a positive experience. In this article, we'll examine some pointers for doing the research that can mean the difference between a shot in the dark and a sure thing.

Joe Yakich

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