Test Estimation

I thought my recent post to the Agile-Testing Discussion list was worth repeating. Here goes: Earlier, Lisa Crispin said Test Estimation was hard, and asked if anyone had a perfect method, to which I replied: > Ask the customer when they want it done, get a prioritized list of> features, and deliver on the day […]

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A Few Of My Favorite Things – II

If you watch enough presentations, you start to see things that detract from the message. The speaker has to plug in, power up, and press control-shift-F9 a bunch of times. He has to try to make smalltalk in this period – smalltalk that he didn’t expect to do. During the talk, he may have to […]

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Canary in a Coal Mine

There is an interesting talk in Info.com by Ken Schwaber. Ken is a co-author of the agile manifesto and co-inventor of Scrum. If you don’t want to listen for an hour, move the slider to 29 minutes – the section on magic thinking and lies. If you get hooked, you can come back to the […]

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A few of my favorite things – I

I’d like to start a short series on my favorite tools. No fluff, just stuff. Tool #1: Google Reader. This is like TiVo for blogs. You search for, find, and list your favorite blogs, and it updates itself with a GMail like interface when new posts come out. Because Google indexs, well, everything, you can […]

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Throughput – I

I’ve been thinking about throughput a lot lately. Example: It’s winter in Michigan, and it’s snowing. So, on my way to work this morning, I see a truck that is plowing. The truck is doing an excellent job of plowing, shifting from forward to reverse very quickly, accelerating quickly and using heavy brakes. He sure […]

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Why Blog?

So far, I’m obligated for quite a bit … A) I want to describe blue man group, and how that might impact our communcationB) Discuss possible ways to contribute to software development, and then what I plan on doing next (my next big thing)C) I’d like to talk about why I’m blogging, and why you […]

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Agile Metrics

Someone on the Agile-Testing list asked about test metrics for his SEI/CMM compliance effort. Here’s my reply: I have one graph, which is a stacked-line graph. On the X axis I have time. On the Y axis I have deliverables. Each deliverable has phases – need requirements, in dev, in software engineering test, in customer […]

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On Leadership

Pollyanna Pixton Asked me how my thoughts on leadership came to be. Here’s a quick braindump: >How did your thoughts evolve? Now _that_ is an interesting question! I spent seven years as a Civil Air Patrol Cadet while also reading the military science and science fiction success literature – especially Robert Heinlein. You can learn […]

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The End of the BlockBuster – II

When Chad Fowler gave his talk, he mentioned that the implied career path for most people in software is to become CIO – perhaps for the ambitious – CEO – of the big company you work at. He suggested the alternative of becoming CEO of something else. A programming language. A platform. A tool. Become […]

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I’m Unprofessional …

(A Rant) Really, I am unprofessional. I’ve been told by friends and people I respect that my website is terrible. Unprofessional. Ugly. How dare I have a website without CSS? None of those people have a website My blog is hosted at blogspot. Gosh. Awful. I should have my own viritual host (I do) and […]

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The End of the BlockBuster – I

Remember back when everyone saw Batman? I mean everyone. Science Fiction Fans watched it; thrill seekers and horror fans watched it (it had a very dark “joker”); kids who played with action figures watched it – though they probably should not have. Mom watched it (romance and drama), Dad watched it, teenagers watched it – […]

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Testing Computer Software, 3rd Ed

Dr. Cem Kaner has started work on the 3rd edition of his popular sofware testing book by posting a short article here. If you’d like a short introduction to some deeper issues in software testing, you could read my blog for six months, or, well, check out his post. Seriously, it’s good. A couple of […]

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Presentations – III

For some time I’ve been trying to put together a post about the Blue Man Group – the seven-city theatre production that is, well … unique. I recently saw Blue Man in Chicago, and it is an amazing combination of theatre, art, audience interaction, and improvisational comedy that creates a shared experience. And yes, I […]

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The Requirements Problem

Software Requirements are hard. Ok, let’s do some critical thinking on that. Why are requirements hard? In my honest opinion, the skill set to do requirements is a combination of writing skills, an understanding of the problem domain, and an understanding of technology. To paraphrase Jerry Weinberg, it’s not that you have to analyze requirements […]

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Agile "Architecture"

I’m not a huge fan of the concept of software architecture. All too often, I find architecture is an excuse to have highly compensated people who don’t produce working software. Heck, I even published an article about it. Still, All too often is not the same as “always.” Scott Ambler has an interesting article on […]

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Metrics Madness – II

UPDATE: Mark Waite is quick to point out this article by Cem Kaner on Metrics Dysfunction, which predates Joel by years. The style of the two articles is very different; Joel uses a little bit of logic, a little bit of generalization, some common sense and emotion to make his point, where Dr. Kaner wrote […]

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