Better Software Magazine Articles

Finding the Signal through the Noise

A major challenge for software professionals interpreting data is deciding what's real and what isn't, what matters and what doesn't. A useful way to think about it is that you are trying to find the signal in the noise produced by random variation and error. Here is advice on how to extract the useful information from the "noise."

Jarrett Rosenberg
User-Driven Design

It doesn't matter when you deliver, if you build the wrong product. Development entails inferences and assumptions about the user, which are supposed to guide the build-process. However, even if development successfully matches the inferences and assumptions about the user, if those criteria don't match the Real User, the product fails. This article talks about how to incorporate the user into the requirements and design phase.

Modeling Organizational Change

When you approach a process problem in the way your workgroup functions, you're implementing an organizational change. Organizations are systems of complex interrelationships. Explicit models can help you make strategic changes.

Esther Derby's picture Esther Derby
Bayesian Belief Nets: Predicting Defect Rates and Resource Requirements

A Bayesian Belief Net is a graphical network that represents probabilistic relationships among variables. Here is a studied look at this causal modeling technique as applied to defect prediction and resource estimation.

Norman Fenton
The Top 13 Mistakes In Load Testing Applications

This is a no-holds-barred discussion of common load testing errors and consequences. Load testing can and should be done long before a system has a stable or complete user interface. One reason that people often schedule load testing as a final step in a test or development plan is the confusion linking load testing with functional testing.

Mark D. Anderson
In Search of Defect Tracking Systems

Defect tracking systems influence business-critical decisions. Building and installing a corporate-wide defect tracking system takes a small but well-balanced development team. Your implementation may be as simple as opening the package and typing "setup" or it may take months of programming. Here's how to find and implement the right system for your organization.

Bob Johnson
Measuring Process Improvement

Tracking your project goals lets you know how well your improvement program is going, provides visibility early to detect problems, and gives you data to make your future plans more effective. Here's how to measure improvement based on your project's goals and problems.

Mary Sakry
Meaningful Metrics

Your numbers are solid and your graphs are works of art. Now boost your metrics' value through the roof with some simple annotations that will put all that data in context.

Anna S. W. Allison
How Good Is This Software?—A Model to Measure Subjective Data

How do you really know how good your software is? Many traditional measures only look at the quantitative aspects of quality. Here's a model to measure and analyze subjective—or qualitative—data about software quality.

Andy Roth
Organize Your Problem Tracking System

Do you have a bug database or defect tracking system? Whether you call them PRs, CRs, SPRs, or some other acronym, logging your software problems into a database rates as one of the simplest yet most effective things you can do to improve product quality. Sometimes these databases turn into the electronic equivalent of a “roach motel” trap--the bugs go in but they don’t come out!

Barry Mirrer


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