We like to believe that the categories we assign to the world are real and the definitions we use draw clear boundaries, but how clear are they really? Brian Marick writes about the vital nature of examples, both in the realm of software development and in the larger picture of life.
An effective project customer can turn a good product into a great one. But he's got to know how. Mike Cohn gives project customers seven simple rules for communicating product goals effectively to development.
Between outsourcing and flextime, virtual development teams are fast becoming the rule rather than the exception. But can team members work together when they're so far apart? Read two stories of how real-life programmers are making it work.
What all virtual teams have in common is that they are working on a project, but may not be located in close physical proximity, and they must find ways to communicate, track progress, and manage tasks without being able to physically meet regularly. The prerequisites for success with virtual teams are 1) clear, manageable objectives; 2) management's commitment to necessary resources; and 3) mature management and technical personnel. Learn how to lead a workgroup you cannot see.
Kristi Wheeler wanted to create a forum in which all of the testers in her company could come together to talk about their skills, learn more about testing, and bring individual experiences into a group setting. Here, she describes how she started up brown bag groups for testers and developers in her organization–and how you can start them in your own company.
Knowing C++ or Java can make a manager's job easier. But what about being an expert in spoken language? It's essential to be competent in the use of daily language when you are making the transition to management. Technical Editor Esther Derby gives advice on improving your language, including a warning about the dangers of using absolutes and of leaving out details in conversation.