Better Software Articles

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Don't Use Bug Counts to Measure Testers

Cem Kaner tells us why we should not use bug counts to measure testers. Using examples, he illustrates two problems: 1) bug counts are poor measures of individual performance; and 2) the side effects of using bug counts as a measure are serious.

Cem Kaner
Gathering Users for Great Requirements

If you buy a hammer, you are not considered a master carpenter automatically. The same holds true for tool knowledge alone solving requirements problems. Kelley Schmidt shares the biggest lesson she learned on a project: commercial process and tools alone cannot lead to project success.

Kelley Schmidt
Introducing Test-First Development

Testers are often frustrated to receive a product for testing that is riddled with bugs. They want to know why some of the bugs couldn't have been caught during development. If only some tests could be run before the code was handed off! Jason Bedunah learned the benefits of test-first development first hand. Here, he introduces a framework for testing and coding that he found to be very helpful, and he gives some pointers on getting developers on board with test-first development.

Jason L. Bedunah
Computer Science 101: Software Testing?

Summary:
Where do you find new testers? For the most part, the answer is typically not "from your local university computer science or software engineering department." Testing just isn't taught as a subject in most university curricula. Here, James Whittaker suggests ways to get testing into your university.

James Whittaker's picture James Whittaker
Women Testing the Waters

Picture the faces around the conference table at your last project meeting. How many women were in the room? And how many of them were testers? Alyn Wambeke explores whether the traditionally male-dominated landscape of testing is changing.

Alyn Wambeke
Generating Test Code with Teradyne TestMaster

Robin Sahner looks at generating test code with Teradyne TestMaster. His group evaluated TestMaster on two projects. It did what they hoped it would, and now they're using TestMaster on all of their projects. They're not employing it to shorten their test development time or use fewer people; instead they plan to use it to get a more complete, more easily maintained set of functional tests using the same resources. Editors Note: Teradyne SST has become a new company called Empirix.

Robin Sahner
Breaking the Language Barrier

It's wasteful, more often than not, to reinvent the wheel. Christopher Meisenzahl explains how he solved a high-tech automation challenge through the sharing of resources. When faced with similar problems, this sort of collaboration with others may be your most valuable tool—and one that every tester should take advantage of.

Analyzing Requirements Bugs

Analysis of bug reports from previous projects tells us about our most frequent errors, and can help us improve. But very few companies spend the time to analyze bugs from completed projects. Otto Vinter and Soren Lauesen explore using bug reports to improve the software development process.

Søren Lauesen
No More Whining

Johanna Rothman urges test managers to stop whining and deal with the "Not-Enough" problem. She concludes: "You have more capability to influence attitudes, behaviors, and actions in your organization than you know. If you feel like a second-class citizen, reframe the situation. Rethink your job and how you do it, and realize the importance of the contribution–finite, but powerful–you can make toward your organization's product quality."

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Flying Solo: Is Consulting for You?

Alyn Wambeke interviews several software consultants for their take on the ups and downs of working on their own. He also gives pointers on getting started, and on how to determine if you're up to the challenge.

Alyn Wambeke

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