teams

Articles

Testing team standing around a computer and smiling 3 Methods for Better Communication and More Effective Testing

Successful delivery of software requires the entire team, so it’s imperative that everyone choose their words carefully so they convey what they really mean, are sensitive to others’ feelings, and consider all aspects of a problem. Here are three questions to remember when communicating about your software testing projects to ensure you’re considering the power of words.

Ajay Balamurugadas
A developer and a tester looking at each other warily Examining Cross-functionality Bias on Software Development Teams

Cross-functionality means having all the necessary people and skills on one self-organizing team. Unfortunately, the execution of cross-functionality is often biased. The main traps we fall into are misunderstanding the value of specialization, hero worship, and not “walking the cross-functional talk” as organizations. Let’s examine each of these pitfalls in the hope that your teams may avoid them.

Natalie Warnert
Arrow pointing left Shifting Testing Left Is a Team Effort

There is a lot of talk in the testing world about shifting left. Basically, “shift left” refers to moving the test process to an earlier point in the development process, independent of the development approach. This article explores a case in which shift-left has been applied, and the lesson is that shifting left cannot be achieved by testers alone—it must result from a team effort.

Hand drawing automation gears For Sustainable Test Automation, Look beyond the Surface

When it comes to achieving sustainable test automation, having an appropriate test automation team structure in place is the most important first step to take. This article has some proven practices for a few different test automation adoption scenarios—led by an automation team or a regression team, and with agile adaptations—that have helped organizations enjoy long-term test automation success.

Maximilian Bauer

Better Software Magazine Articles

Developers and testers 5 Ways to Pair Developers with Testers

Some agile practices stress the importance of pairing team members together to achieve better team performance. Try these five suggestions for pairing key resources.

Jeffery Payne
Building Autonomous DevOps Capability in Delivery Teams

After setting up a DevOps team and adopting continuous delivery practices, product releases may not be as smooth as they could be. The missing ingredient requires empowerment and autonomy.

Miiro Juuso
Scaling Agile Thinking through Empowered Teams Scaling Agile Thinking through Empowered Teams

Just because a software team adopts agility doesn’t mean they’ll see results. Being flexible has its benefits, but ensuring that the team is given total responsibility to make decisions may be more important.

Bob Costello
Bridging the Bimodal Divide between Waterfall and Agile

Most software developers are in either the agile or the waterfall camp. Agile is required to be competitive, but many enterprise processes still rely on waterfall practices for stability. They can coexist.

Steve Elliott

Interviews

Finding Microefficiencies in Agile Practices: An Interview with Melissa Tondi

Melissa Tondi discusses retuning your standard agile practices to better engage the project team, enabling them to write code that will pass testing and free testers to assume the role of user advocate.

Jennifer Bonine
Marcia Buzzella Improving Communication and Social Skills: An Interview with Marcia Buzzella
Video

Marcia Buzzella, an independent leadership consultant and strengths coach, discusses the importance of communication and social skills in a business atmosphere. She offers advice on tools to recognize your weaknesses in those areas and how to work toward improving your effectiveness.

Jennifer Bonine
Hilary Weaver-Robb Yes before No and Building a Culture of Innovation: An Interview with Hilary Weaver-Robb
Video

In this interview, Hilary Weaver-Robb, a software quality architect at Quicken Loans, explains how you can create a company culture that encourages trying new things—even if they fail. She discusses the importance of learning, changing roles as you grow, and testing RESTful web services.

Jennifer Bonine
Marcia Buzzella Why Testers, Developers, and Managers Need Better Communication: An Interview with Marcia Buzzella
Video

In this interview, Marcia Buzzella, a leadership consultant and strengths coach, explains how each member of a software development team can better communicate with one another, and why testers need to understand how what they’re saying is being perceived.

Jennifer Bonine

Conference Presentations

Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 I Manage an Agile Team. Am I Obsolete?
Slideshow

Agile and Scrum Teams are self-organizing and self-managing. As a line manager, what's left to do? Traditionally, managers are responsible for the output of their teams. Sometimes they're even responsible for the for a team's delivery that they do not have direct oversight. This model is flawed. People are complex, a team of people is a complex system. May as well try to manage the weather. To get a handle on the complexity of teams, managers need to act differently in how they lead others. In other words, managers of agile teams will fail if they do not shift their thinking from management to leadership. We can't manage the complexity but we can help people navigate it. Just as we can't stop it from raining, we help teams find umbrellas and take supportive actions when things begin to flood.

Robert Pieper
Agile Dev West 2018, Better Software West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Collaborative Curiosity
Slideshow

Let's try an experiment. Rather than trying to figure out what you need or want to hear from a keynote, we propose your taking over as the product owner and driving the discussion? Join Ryan Ripley and Faye Thompson as they take your most pressing, real-time questions and craft them into an inspiring keynote that is relevant to you and your needs. They will take on all agile topics: How does a team optimize their learning? How do you make it safe to explore, experiment and fail? What should you do when your teams aren’t “buying” self-direction and accountability. What do you do when those pesky senior leaders aren’t cooperating? Does DevOps magically improve our capacity? Why is scaling so hard and how does SAFe solve it? And anything else that’s on your mind. Bring your questions, as we celebrate your curiosity about what it takes to become truly agile yourself, in your teams, and in your organization.

Ryan Ripley
STAREAST 2018 Influencing Stakeholders Using Fact-based Information
Slideshow

With all the open source tools available on the market it can be overwhelming as to which ones might meet your needs and which ones will work best in your environment to create a high performing team and metrics dashboard. Join Jennifer as she explains the relationship of data, your environment, and how a hub and spoke model can link all your different data sets and tools together. She identifies opportunities for applying test data analytics across the engineering and test landscape, ranging from high-value test cases to dynamically generated regression test suites. She will review ways to collaborate and show results in a way that clearly demonstrates progress and how to present a visual metrics dashboard to your leadership and stakeholders in the organization.

Jennifer Bonine
Better Software West 2018, Agile Dev West 2018, DevOps West 2018 Brewing Great Agile Team Dynamics: No More "Bitter Beer Face" Communications
Slideshow

Ever find yourself making a sour face after talking to a coworker? Wishing your team meetings felt more like an engaging social hour? There is hope. Those everyday conflicts where something seems “off” after a conversation are often related to differences in communication styles. When team members understand themselves and others, there’s less conflict, more collaboration, and better working relationships. The DiSC model can help you understand why your team behaves the way it does and how to build trust for a more agile team. In this interactive session, agile coaches Allison Pollard and Barry Forrest will introduce the DiSC model to explain the four behavior types that are the ingredients in any team, then explore the characteristics of these ingredients and how they react with one another.

Allison Pollard

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