Ignorance might be bliss, but it goes straight to the bottom line when it comes to software bugs. Those who can ferret out bugs and improve the quality of their software will be rewarded with greater customer trust, higher renewal rates, lower maintenance costs, and fewer opportunities for the competition. Laila Lotfi explains how automated error reporting aids in this endeavor.
One of the main challenges when designing software architecture is the consideration of quality attributes. Not only their design turns out to be difficult, but also the specification of these attributes. Consequently, many problems in software systems are directly related to the specification and design of quality attributes such as modifiability or performance, to name just a few.
Gojko Adzic has written the book Specification by Example, explaining the set of techniques for describing the functional and behavioural aspects of a computer system in a way that they are useful to the development team (expressed ideally as executable tests), understandable by non-technical stakeholders and maintainable to remain relevant despite changing customer demands.
The Evolutionary Contract Model offers new ways to write contracts for innovative/complex product development that accommodate change and help avoid “The Curse of the Change Control Mechanism”. 4
Most software contracts are written with a waterfall approach in mind - fixing the scope, cost, and schedule. This article offers advice on how to write a contract for an Agile software project. 27
Roman Pichler discusses the product backlog along with techniques for grooming, applying, and scaling it on large projects. Chapter excerpt from Roman's book: Agile Product Management with Scrum. 6
The line between development and architecture is tricky. Does it exist at all? Is an ivory tower actually needed? There's a balance in the middle, but how do you move from developer to architect? 40
Simon Guest of Microsoft introduces SketchFlow as a tool for developers to create high-fidelity prototypes for their WPF or Silverlight applications. 10
Shane Hastie, Chief Knowledge Engineer at Software Education, outlines how the Business Analyst can help Agile teamwork - when properly aligned with the business, rather than the development team. 14
Developer Jay Fields draws on his experiences as a ThoughtWorks consultant to describe effective user story estimation techniques. 17
The Scrum Product Owner role is powerful, valuable and challenging to implement. It brings healthier relationships between customers and developers, and competitive advantage - if you do it right. 12
Michael Spayd tells us that both contractors & permanent employees can play a "consultant" role, and can use contracts to help create stellar results for clients while respecting their own values. 2