communications

Articles

Better Testing Tips Imagine an Ocean Between You: Tips for Better Testing

Is the best way to interact with your team in person, with your teammates right next to you? Not necessarily. By working online with remote programmers and testers, people tend to approach problems from some unique perspectives. Read on to learn how imagining an ocean between you and your teammates can actually improve your communication and process.

Michael Larsen's picture Michael Larsen
Positive Psychology Can Help Your Organization How Positive Psychology Can Help Your Organization

Positive psychology is providing a new focus on effective ways to ensure that teams exhibit the right behaviors in a group or organizational setting. Closely related to many agile and lean concepts, these emerging practices are helping teams to improve communication, collaborate, and emerge as highly effective groups. Leslie Sachs explains what positive psychology is all about and how to start using these practices in your organization.

Leslie  Sachs's picture Leslie Sachs
The Rules of Engagement for Workplace Book Clubs The Rules of Engagement for Workplace Book Clubs

Cindy Yuill explains how workplace book clubs can benefit yourself and your team as software testers and developers. In a workplace book club, members get together to form a connection with others, hear different points of view, debate, learn, and get advice and support from each other.

Cynthia Yuill's picture Cynthia Yuill
Myth: If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working Management Myth 22: If You’re Not Typing, You’re Not Working

Some managers who have not been technical in a while have forgotten—or may never have known—that software product development is about learning. They may have spent all of their learning time at a keyboard. Especially if they learned alone rather than in teams, they would not know how to assess a team member’s need for alone time after intense team time.

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

Better Software Magazine Articles

Don’t Bury the Survivors: The Value of Clear Communication

Whether you’re discussing software defects with your test team, analyzing requirements with your BA, or programming in your favorite new language, communication is essential. Lanette Creamer has some tips to help you communicate clearly with any audience.

Lanette  Creamer's picture Lanette Creamer
Let's Talk Agile

Agile development employs more oral communication, feedback, and interaction than traditional development. These communication tools can help ease the transition into the more interactive agile team relationship.

Ken Pugh's picture Ken Pugh
The Whorfian Hypothesis

Benjamin Whorf hypothesized that the language we speak constrains the thoughts we can have. Learn how a well-developed organizational vocabulary can help increase the quality of your products.

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland
Is the Pope a Bachelor?—Why Examples are Most Important

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.

Brian Marick's picture Brian Marick

Interviews

Software professional and Open Space facilitator Steven Doc List Listen to What You're Saying!: An Interview with Steven "Doc" List

Steven "Doc" List and Noel Wurst sit down for what starts as a standard interview about communication skills but quickly evolves into a fascinating conversation that reveals a lot about what we're saying—and what we should be saying. You may be surprised at just how much you have to learn.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst
Why the BA Is Essential to Agile Development: An Interview with Steve Adolph
Video

Steve Adolph explains why the BA's role on an agile project cannot be overvalued, due to their immense communication and collaboration skills. Steve describes the best BAs as "boundary spanners" who know the importance of keeping everyone sitting together, and most importantly—talking.

Noel Wurst's picture Noel Wurst
Improving QA-Development Communication: An Interview with Amit Chopra

In this Sticky ToolLook interview, Microsoft senior program manager Amit Chopra takes a look at some of the common communication breakdowns between QA and development teams and offers suggestions for avoiding or repairing those situations.

Joey McAllister's picture Joey McAllister

Conference Presentations

Creating Crucial Test Conversations

Many test leaders believe that development, business, and management don't understand, support, or properly value our contributions. You know what-these test leaders are probably right! So, why do they feel that way? Bob Galen believes it’s our inability and ineffectiveness in communicating-selling-ourselves, our abilities, our contributions, and our value to the organization. As testers, we believe that the work speaks for itself. Wrong! We must work harder to create the crucial conversations that communicate our value and impact. Bob shares specific techniques for holding context-based conversations, producing informative status reports, conducting attention-getting quality assessments, and delivering solid defect reports. Learn how to improve your communication skills so that key partners understand your role, value, and contributions.

Bob Galen, iContact
Conversations I Never Expected to Have as a Test Manager

There are times in a test manager's career when the work situation becomes surreal. If you've been in situations where you think you must be dreaming, sometimes it helps to look at things from the other person's perspective. As we mature in our jobs, we can examine these situations and see how to better answer the questions we have about unexpected communications. In this session we'll look at some typical conversations and discuss alternative ways to help everyone find the true reality, then better deal with the situation. From her years of experience as a consultant and her personal encounters, Johanna Rothman shares her insights and gets you involved in discovering what's really being said in these strange conversations.

Johanna Rothman, Rothman Consulting Group
STAREAST 2000: Confessions of a (Recovering) Coding Cowboy

The battle lines are drawn, it seems, between programmers and testers. Do you wonder what makes some programmers so opposed to process control? Why do programmers seem to resent testers? And, more importantly, what can we do to bridge the gap? Learn how to identify different types of developer personalities and development styles and deal with them to your advantage. Susan Joslyn explores ways to inspire quality (recovery) in coding cowboys while minimizing clashes. Discover your own twelve step program to recovery in your relationships with your developers!

Susan Joslyn, SJ+ Systems Associates, Inc.
Management of Outsourcing--How to Avoid Common Mistakes

One of the most challenging areas of software management is encountered in the first year after an outsourcing contract is signed. Carol Dekkers discusses the actions that can be taken by both implementation teams to ease the transition and to achieve outsourcing success. Learn of the common mistakes made involving personnel, measurement, and expectations, and obtain recommendations to increase the transition to a successful partnership.

Carol Dekkers, Quality Plus Technologies, Inc.

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