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PM / IM combos – 2 for the price of 1?

I’ve recently followed an online discussion about whether or not a Project Manager (PM) should apply for a Scrum Master (SM) role or vice versa and have been surprised to see that the overwhelming response from the Agile community was along the lines of “sure, go ahead”. Having come from a PM…
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Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)

It’s great when a team of people work together to produce something useful and effective; using ATDD is a customer-focused way of delivering what people want. Elisabeth Hendrickson (who will be speaking about ATDD at Fusion and STANZ this year) describes ATDD as “a practice in which the whole team…
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Social engineering

In the world of security, social engineering refers to various ways of getting individuals to divulge confidential information which allows an unauthorised individual to gain access to privileged information or systems. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of trust the average Kiwi has, which…
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I test therefore I am…..not a good team member

I just read an excellent article from James Whittaker on testing at Google and I just loved his point about the T-shirts that state “I test therefore I am”. The premise is that people should not be too hung up on roles, more focused on products. I come across this so much working in the Agile…
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Are you an unconscious incompetent tester?

What does personal development mean for a tester? How does going on a course help a tester?What value is gained by the organisation sending their testers for training on a certification course? Some testers have been doing the same job for years and figure there’s nothing more they need to learn…
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Performance appraisals on Agile teams

Over the last week I’ve had two people ask me about performance management and appraisals on Agile projects.   This post is to provide them with some answers and will hopefully be useful for others in the future. One area where the adoption of Agile approaches often bumps up against established…
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What does automation mean to me?

If you had asked me this question when I first started my career as a software test analyst, I would have probably told you that automation had nothing to do with me – it was all those fancy things the automation team used to do with tools in order automate the execution of tests. These days I tend…
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Building trust in distributed teams

On Agile projects, the daily standup is one of the ways the team members build trust. The team members complete work every day, and make micro-commitments to each other every day. Making and keeping these commitments builds trust. And, when you’re not all together, it’s just a little more difficult…
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The words we use matter!

I’ve just spend three weeks in the USA: having a busman’s holiday, I attended an Agile Alliance board meeting and a BABOK 3. 0 working session and being a tourist. Something that struck me in both of the sessions, and in the classroom over the two weeks since I returned, is the importance of…
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The future of testing?

There seems to be a lot of discussions around right now about the future of testing, which direction is testing going, what skills will we need, etc. This all seems to depend on the technology under test, the lifecycle being used, and of the level of “Certification” of the testing team. Quite…
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Tips for measuring soft skills programs

Soft skills – those oh-so-important qualities such as adaptability, critical thinking and creativity – are what’s needed to bridge the gap between good and great employees. Unlike black-and-white technical skills, however, these types of competencies often fall in a grey area of subjectivity. Given…
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An Introduction to the Volere Requirements Techniques

Suzanne and James Robertson are principals and founders of The Atlantic Systems Guild and joint originators of the Volere* requirements techniques. They have written many articles about requirements and we’d like to share one with you. It covers the main principles of the technique and why it i…
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