Project Management

Better Software Magazine Articles

The Wonderful World of Software

Former STQE magazine Technical Editor Brian Lawrence shares a tale about why a commitment to quality and paying close attention to detail are critical elements in building better software. It’s all about careful planning and anticipating customer behavior. Go with Brian on a stroll through one of the oldest, best-known amusement parks to find out more.

Brian Lawrence
Welcome to Software Testing and Quality Engineering

Technical Editor Brian Marick introduces the first issue of STQE magazine. He says the magazine "is for people who get their hands dirty, whether by writing tests, cranking out code, managing others, or--perhaps the hardest task of all--being the internal QA consultant who has no direct authority but must somehow persuade ten projects with impossible deadlines to think strategically."

Brian Marick
What's in a Name?

Technical Editor Brian Marick outlines a goal for the magazine and its readers: gradual process improvement, driven by immediate needs.

Brian Marick
Quality Assurance and Testing

Brian Marick argues for using testers at the requirements analysis stage of a project. He says, "While QA is primarily about process, testing—my specialty—is about product. Whatever else a tester might do, she certainly eventually exercises the product with the aim of discovering problems a user might encounter. This essay is about that 'whatever else' the tester does."

Brian Marick
The Ariane 5: A Smashing Success

On June 4, 1996, the maiden flight of the Ariane 5 satellite launcher ended spectacularly after only forty seconds, with bits of the $67 billion vehicle and its payload spread over a fairly large part of French Guiana. The report issued July 19 by the International Inquiry Board noted that the fiery crash was due to a "chain of technical events." The details of that particular chain of events are reviewed here.

Les Hatton
Book Review: Mastering the Requirements Process

Brian Lawrence points to Mastering the Requirements Process as a valuable reference book. The book presents a complete step-by-step method for gathering, modeling, and specifying requirements. Along the way the authors offer easy-to-understand and appropriate examples that nicely illustrate how to apply their techniques.

Brian Lawrence
How to Survive the Software Swamp

For a project to make long-term progress, it must build a platform of basic engineering practices. On this platform are set the ladders of advanced techniques that you select using risk analysis. Properly managed, these processes help you avoid falling back into the swamp whenever the project is under pressure.

Michael Deck
Interviewing Your Interviewer

Job interviews are stressful. Often, people are so eager to impress the interviewer that they don't find out critical information about the company and the position. But it's just as important for you to be convinced of the position's suitability for you as it is for the company to be convinced of your suitability for the position. If you ask the right questions, interviews can be much more productive at helping you avoid poorly managed, unhappy projects and zero in on well-run, professional projects.

Joe Yakich
Managers Are Just for Budget Cutting, Right?

Luisa Consolini tells us why the managerial side of quality is as important as the technical side. The precepts she imparts are: 1) there is something as bad as not doing testing—not managing it; 2) if you don't manage quality, you won't improve it just by applying some fancy quality techniques; and 3) people are not second to quality.

Luisa Consolini
Tracking Severity: Assessing and Classifying the Impact of Issues (a.k.a. Defects)

How does one categorize Severity? Should you use numbers like 1, 2, 3; generic names like High, Medium, Low; or more specific names? A telephone switching system, for example, might use industry-specific categories such as "system issue," "line issue," or "call issue." Other environments, as we'll see in this article, tailor classification terms to meet their own functional needs.

Tim Dyes

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