Better Software Magazine Archive:

Jan/Feb 2002


Becoming Indispensable
By Elisabeth Hendrickson

How can you achieve the lofty status of being an "indispensable" employee? Elisabeth Hendrickson shares some valuable tips, including how to adjust your attitude, where to invest your time, and how to communicate better.

A Look at the Ruby Scripting Language
By Phil Tomson

The Ruby language has gained many followers recently. Ruby offers many of the same features that made Perl a popular scripting language, but also has the advantage of being a fully object-oriented language. While developing an object-oriented application in Perl might be a bit clumsy, Ruby supports object-oriented programming quite naturally. This can offer many advantages when developing a large testing application.

Small Change, Big Trouble
By Ross Collard

Ross Collard researches the cause of coding errors, and recommends some process improvements companies should implement, including establishing the minimum amount of regression testing required for new releases.

Introducing Test-First Development
By Jason L. Bedunah

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.

Bret Pettichord on Test Automation
By Bret Pettichord

Here is Bret Pettichord's collection of the most influential papers, books, and Web sites on software test automation. One benefit of reviewing various reports is that you're more likely to find one that is close to your own situation. All of these reports come from people who've done the work and have reported honestly about it.

Speaking of Quality
By Esther Derby
Brian Marick

Technical Editors Esther Derby and Brian Marick introduce Volume Four of STQE magazine.

Managing the End Game: Avoiding End-of-Project Complications by putting the Test Team in Charge
By Cindy Necaise

Experiencing end-of-project woes? Read how one test team guided the work at the end of a project by establishing daily goals to meet weekly objectives; by grading the product with a two-tiered approach; and by posting frequent status reports.

Learning to Love Unit Testing
By Andy Hunt
Dave Thomas

Unit testing can become a developer's best friend. Find out how and why from two programmers who now rely on this practice to improve development.

Project Planning: It's in the Cards
By Dwayne Phillips

Spend two days with an engineer named Eddie, and see how one skeptic learned the value of a low-tech, team-intensive, Cards-on-the-Wall planning technique.

Meaningful Metrics
By Anna S. W. Allison

Your numbers are solid and your graphs are works of art. Now boost your metrics' value through the roof with some simple annotations that will put all that data in context.

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