people metrics

Articles

head with gears inside Does Domain Expertise Really Matter?

Many job descriptions include a requirement for domain expertise to filter candidates for testing jobs. But is expertise really necessary before joining a team? Does it ensure a good tester? Justin Rohrman digs into his experiences in difficult business domains, what expertise means, and how it applies to software testing.

Justin Rohrman's picture Justin Rohrman
Female Testers Why You Need Female Testers on Your Team

There is a great deal of conversation around the lack of female representation in Silicon Valley. While striving for more equal demographics within the IT world is a worthy cause in its own right, it is actually to our industry’s detriment when we fail to actively include women on testing teams. Read on to learn why.

Joseph Ours's picture Joseph Ours
Ethics of a Testing The Ethics of a Testing Job Interview

When conducting a testing job interview, of course you want to ask questions to be sure the candidate has the skills necessary for the position. But what sorts of questions go too far? Is it ethical to ask a candidate to solve an actual problem your company is experiencing—even if you don't end up hiring him? This article explores some moral gray areas.

Jeremy Carey-Dressler's picture Jeremy Carey-Dressler
Spiral of an Organization Avoiding the Organizational Death Spiral

The death spiral supersedes the death march in that the death march is a singular event, whereas the death spiral is systemic. It is the result of organizational dysfunction where teams march toward deadline after deadline without reflecting on or questioning if there is a better way to deliver software. There is! Take these positive steps.

Thomas Wessel's picture Thomas Wessel

Better Software Magazine Articles

All Customers Are Not Created Equal All Customers Are Not Created Equal

Software developers may not think they have much to do with customers, but it is wise to consider the customer in all you do, from collecting requirements to design and implementation.

Regina Evans's picture Regina Evans
overwhelmed at work Saying No to More Work

We’ve all been placed in the situation where a boss asks you to perform more work than you can possibly handle. Johanna Rothman knows firsthand that there is a better way to respond that benefits you and your manager.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman
Cracking the Code on Millennials

Our latest generation of programmers, project managers, and testers is perceived to be uninterested, unmotivated, and difficult to manage. Jason Garber presents innovative techniques you can use to lead your next rising star.

Jason Garber's picture Jason Garber
Planning to Performance Test Your App? Think Again!

To complement functional validation, software teams are expected to validate performance. But, according to Jun Zhuang, you must be prepared to invest time, personnel, and resources to benefit from performance testing.

Jun Zhuang's picture Jun Zhuang

Interviews

8 Ways to Ruin Your One-on-Ones: An Interview with Jason Wick
Video

In this interview, Jason Wick, senior manager at MakeMusic, discusses his STAREAST presentation about eight ways you could be making your one-on-one meetings completely useless. He discusses in depth what he feels is the number one way to ruin these meetings: holding back on feedback. He also offers advice on how you can educate your team leader to avoid the pitfalls that lead to ineffective one-on-ones.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Why Manual Testers Shouldn't Fear Automation: An Interview with Chris Loder
Video

In this interview, Chris Loder, automation architect at InGenius Software, addresses the misconception that the goal of automation is to replace manual testers.

Jennifer Bonine's picture Jennifer Bonine
Paul LaRue discusses successful team leadership How to Tell Your People They're Worthless: An Interview with Paul LaRue
Podcast

In this interview, Paul LaRue, creator at The UPwards Leader, discusses how you should and shouldn't lead a team. He tells a story about a colleague whose tactics made it difficult to lead a team, as well as what he learned from her many mistakes along the way. 

Josiah Renaudin's picture Josiah Renaudin
Mike Trites talks about improving the quality of your metrics Improving the Efficiency of Your Metrics: An Interview with Mike Trites
Podcast

In this interview, Mike Trites, a senior test consultant, talks about his upcoming presentation at STAREAST 2014, the future of metrics, the importance of improving the efficiency of your metrics, and even an interesting take on the old phrase that numbers never lie.

Cameron Philipp-Edmonds's picture Cameron Philipp-Edmonds

Conference Presentations

STAREAST The Reality Distortion Field of Testing
Slideshow

The reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computers in 1981 to describe Steve Job's charisma and its effect on the developers working on the Macintosh project. The RDF was said to be Steve Job's ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, bravado, marketing, appeasement, and persistence. The RDF warps an audience's sense of proportion for difficulties and makes them believe that any task is possible. When it comes to testing, we have this RDF all around us, with managers saying things like, "We can and should automate everything," "We can be much more effective and productive when we work on multiple projects," "We need to provide lots of evidence to demonstrate the thoroughness of our testing," "Testers need to become developers," and so forth.

Lloyd Roden
Agile DevOps East Agile Distributed Teams: Oxymoron or Viable Option?
Slideshow

Many surveys indicate that more teams work in distributed environments. But agile approaches work best when people collocate, huddle around a problem, and closely collaborate on the best solutions that will deliver value. Is collocation the only option these days? Does distributed always imply “dysfunctional”? Does technology help or hinder? Maybe the problem is how we think about the working environment. Mark Kilby will share key principles of successful distributed agile teams that help define better working environments. Understand how the principles apply to different types of distributed teams, and discover how agile practices change in distributed teams and how they may vary from team to team. You'll take back ways to assess your current distributed team environment and generate ideas for improvement.

Mark Kilby
STARCANADA Why Military Veterans Make Exceptional Testers
Slideshow

Hiring trained talent has been a challenge for IT organizations for several years now. How do you find a steady source of qualified candidates for entry-level QA and QE positions, especially considering colleges and universities don't include a software quality assurance curriculum?...

Brenda Hall
STARWEST 2018 The Art of Software Investigation
Slideshow

Although processes and tools play an important role in software testing, the most important testing tool is the mind. Like scientists, testers search for new knowledge and share discoveries—hopefully for the betterment of people’s lives. More than sixty years ago, William I.B. Beveridge reframed discussion of scientific research in his classic book The Art of Scientific Investigation. Rather than add to the many texts on the scientific method, he focused on the mind of the scientist. Join Ben Simo as he applies Beveridge’s principles and techniques for scientific investigation to software testing today. Learn to discover and communicate new knowledge that matters; to think—and test—like scientists; and to continually prepare, experiment, exploit chance, imagine productively, apply intuition and reason, tune observation, and overcome resistance.

Ben Simo

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