Significant others not only provide personal support, but can also provide the objective voice that can make your work even better. Next time you're stuck with presenting an idea or writing a paper, run it past your significant other for her opinion. In this week's column, Mike Andrews talks about how he incorporates his wife's opinion into the work he produces, and how her insight improves the quality of it.
The people who are paying you to be a software developer are depending on you to know what you're doing. How can you instill in people confidence that you can deliver when you are unfamiliar with the required technology? In this week's column, Dave Hoover tells you how to build confidence by showing the people who rely on you that delivering software involves a learning process. Then allow them to watch you grow.
Have you noticed that the hardest people to get and keep on a project are the subject matter experts (SMEs)? It's as if managers think that general programming or testing skills should suffice, or that the right development and testing tools are all you need. Linda Hayes observes that lately it seems the single biggest challenge has been getting quality time to define requirements and test cases from experts who understand the business domain of the application. If this is happening to you, Linda explains what you can do about it.
Many good business analysts have evolved into strong software project managers--a natural career move accelerated by the shortage of experienced software project managers. Unfortunately, no one seems to be stepping into the analysts' vacant ecological niche. In this week's column, Payson Hall warns that business analysis is becoming a lost art. And it's the software project team ecology that is suffering the most from this trend.
Resumes only tell a portion of a candidate's story just like caller ID doesn't always reveal the caller's complete identity. Screening candidates over the phone can help extract more of the person's story if you ask the right questions. In this column, Johanna Rothman shares phone-screening techniques she uses to detect great potential testers. This process of elimination saves her valuable time and ensures only qualified candidates make it to the in-person interview.
Have you ever felt like you were going in circles trying to explain programming to nontechnical people? Simply telling them what programmers do just isn't enough. In this column, Naomi Karten demystifies the programming world by showing nontechnical people how to think like programmers?on a basic level. This seemingly intricate journey starts with a few simple directions.
For one reason or another, team members don't feel safe reporting bad news that marks the delay of a project. No one wants to take responsibility for the set back, so the blame is passed down the production line. At this point, the blame game is in full swing. In this week's column, Peter Clark refers to this game as Schedule Chicken. His commentaries on the game's development reveal strategies that perpetuate delays. And this game only has losers: the project and the customer.
In this week's column, Danny R. Faught discusses some techniques on how to beef up your networking game. He compares successful to not-so-great tactics for meeting people who can help us. He also guides us in the ways of maintaining relationships. His bottom line: the focus should always be on creating meaningful connections. Networking shouldn't just be about meeting people, but about learning how to wisely judge their value as well.
Subject matter expertise is essential on software projects. But a subject matter expert's role and expected contributions are often nebulous concepts. Even the process of selecting a subject matter expert is often misunderstood. This article provides a subject matter expert definition and offers a few guidelines and pointers to help QA managers maximize the benefits of working with a SME.