What's in the Winter 2015 Issue of Better Software Magazine? | TechWell

What's in the Winter 2015 Issue of Better Software Magazine?

With the software industry on a real rebound with innovation, I’ve noticed that certain fundamentals are being forgotten or de-emphasized in favor of a “release on schedule or else” mentality. Many of us spend more time (and money) beefing up our technical skills when we could use guidance on developing soft skills.

The Winter 2015 issue of Better Software should have just what you need to overcome organizational roadblocks in your quest for agile nirvana.

I frequently hear from software developers about their frustration attempting to lead their agile teams, and yet their companies don’t support an agile workflow. What’s worse is working for a company that claims to operate in an agile fashion but in practice really doesn’t.

I recently saw Brian Rabon present as the keynote speaker at the Northern Utah PMI chapter annual professional day, and I was blown away with his perspective on how to relate project agility to one’s personal life. Brian’s cover article provides the advice you need to guide your team to become agile, even if your organization isn’t.

In another feature article, Susan Bradley puts into words what a lot of us in quality assurance worry about: working with testers as part of the software development lifecycle, and not those mean folks who stop products from shipping. Treating the role that quality assurance performs should be as critical as developers creating the software.

Most of our Better Software articles are from technical experts in the trenches, but in this issue we’ve included some interesting perspectives from those not directly working in a software development team. Maria Matarelli is a renowned author and presenter who generally focuses on management. Getting executives to embrace building agile organizations is her specialty, and Maria’s article should make you rethink how you can keep your team inspired and motivated as it self-organizes. I’d recommend that after you read it, pass it on to your boss.

Steve Johnson has been putting on product management workshops for many years and now devotes his time to helping traditional product managers become agile. If you are one of the many who distrust product management, Steve’s article will surely change your perspective. Yes, product managers want to be agile, too.

Most of us have attended strategy and team-building meetings where management wants a bona fide mission and vision statement, and all we want is to escape back to our offices and code. Matt Heusser’s article on adapting the lean business model canvas to quality assurance is a gem. After reading it a couple of times, I researched the lean canvas, and now I’m watching videos and reading books on the subject. Quality assurance leads and managers must read this article. Don’t forget to click the StickyNotes link at the end of the article to view the lean test canvas chart.

Finally, with the successful IPOs of Alibaba and Box, you may have the mistaken impression that all you have to do in order to get rich is form an after-hours startup and in a year get acquired or go public. Mike Botsko’s sobering account of lessons learned from mistakes he made with his own startup will save you a lot of heartache.

We truly value your feedback. Let us and our authors know what you think of the articles by leaving your comments. I sincerely hope you enjoy this issue, and please ask others to subscribe to Better Software.

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February 2, 2015

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