You’ll find that two of the five stories focus on requirements management, which is not surprising given that SSQ surveys from 2009 and 2010 both showed requirements management as the number one challenge in ALM. In 2011, requirements management moved down to the number three spot, topped by project management and process improvement as bigger challenges. Perhaps the improvements in requirements management tools described in these tips are helping?
Automation is another area getting a lot of attention in ALM as organizations work towards an environment that gives continuous integration, and, in some cases, continuous delivery. Most of our top five touch upon this growing industry trend, highlighting tools that will facilitate automation throughout the life cycle.
Coming in at number five is How to select your ALM requirements management tool by Mike Jones. Choosing an appropriate ALM requirements management tool comes with many challenges. Fortunately, this article offers several helpful insights into how to choose a requirements tool that best suits the needs of your organization.
In August, Site Editor Yvette Francino examined ALM trends, referring to findings of industry analysts and experts. In Trends in ALM: Extending the lifecycle, increased support of Kanban, she explores how ALM is expanding to areas beyond the traditional software development lifecycle, how practitioners are diversifying tools to include Kanban and how they are also mixing Agile methodologies.
All stories involving author Michael Hüttermann were popular on SSQ this year, including the two-part interview in which he discusses his book Agile ALM. (Since both parts received high traffic, we allowed them to share slot number three in our top five list.) Site Editor Yvette Francino asks Hüttermann to talk about how automation in used in automation lifecycle management, which he discusses in Automation in Agile ALM: Interview with author Michael Hüttermann — Part 1. Then, in part two, Automation, continuous integration and continuous improvement in Agile ALM — Part 2, he answers questions about programming skills, continuous integration and automation.
In the number two slot, we have another story about ALM tools. Software consultant Nari Kannan went into detail about ALM tools in his great piece Agile ALM tools: How they differ from traditional lifecycle management tools. He explains how newer tools facilitate Agile development by offering adaptability, simpler end-user interfaces and support for distributed and outsourced teams.
And finally, our most popular ALM story of 2011 has to do with requirements management. In March, Forrester analyst Mary Gerush, author of the report, Right Tools. Write Requirements. Right On! provided some great insights into ALM trends. In Trends in ALM: Requirements management tools, she tells Yvette Francino what organizations should consider when selecting a requirements management tool.]]>
In ALM from a distance: Effective remote collaboration tools, consultant Brad Swanson describes tools and techniques that organizations are using to remove the obstacles from distance collaboration. Tools are available for everything from release planning to continuous deployment, allowing us to work efficiently no matter where we’re located.
Melanie Webb tells us more about what vendors are doing with social media in her piece, Social media: How savvy businesses are capitalizing on collaborative tools.
We know that collaboration tools and social media are great for communicating across the miles, but can you really gain trust without the benefit of face-to-face relationships? I think so. Check out this story of the success of crowdsource test organization uTest and read why I personally have such a high regard for this company, thanks to their use of social media.]]>
Social media plays an important role in facilitating interaction between businesses and their customers, according to many industry experts.
We spoke to representatives at Serena to find out how they’re using social media, and Twitter, in particular. Serena is currently hosting a “PlusIs” contest via Twitter running through January 19, 2012.
SSQ: What prompted Serena to host the #PlusIs Twitter Contest?
The #PlusIs contest is a chance for Serena to gain awareness and also for our followers and customers to use Twitter and their imaginations to get creative, have fun and win great prizes, such as the grand prize of an iPad 2 and a donation of $250 towards the charity of their choice. With three categories to submit for—IT, Tis the Season and General—there is something for everyone in Serena Software’s #PlusIs Twitter contest. Serena wanted to do something fun and also encourage people to give back this holiday season.
SSQ: Can you tell us some of the more creative entries you’ve received so far?
Sure, here are some top contenders:
– Poor Release Management + Frazzled Service Desk = Pain Management
– SBM + ARMY = ITIL in place
– #SF49ers + Sunday IS must see TV
– San Fran Occupy camp w/mite & lice infestation + Christmas song = Fleas Navidad
SSQ: Does Serena use Twitter to gather feedback from customers?
Yes. Customers provide feedback to @Serena_Support and we also use this Twitter channel to give regular news on hints and tips, new releases and would also use it to communicate a Sev1 situation if one occurred. We were also able to contact an unhappy customer purely due to Twitter and make them whole again.
SSQ: How else does Serena use social media?
Serena also uses social media to promote new case studies, webinars and company announcements.
SSQ: Do any of Serena’s products have “social features” built in?
Yes. Next month Serena Service Manager a “circles of expert” capability that will empower IT Service Deck professionals to connect with identified circles of expert in real time to resolve incidents. For example, when an SAP Production incident is reported, the system will automatically identify the “SAP Experts” based on the number of SAP-related incidents that each identified individual had successfully closed over a configurable period of time.]]>
But perhaps even more interesting for users are the extensions SOASTA has added to Selenium’s functionality, including a visual test creation environment that allows testers to create tests without traditional coding or scripting.
I spoke with Tal Broder, VP of Engineering at SOASTA, who said:
We have significantly enhanced the capability of Selenium in terms of recording the detection of what element was actually interacted with on the page. We added a visual test environment, which we already had for load testing, and we also enriched analytics. We believe with our offering, even though we are using all the power of Selenium for driving browsers, we have a much faster and easier test creation without having to write a single line of code.
This announcement comes on the heels of two other recent announcements in the ALM test tool market: Replay Solutions and Coverity. Both of these announcements also were about improved automated testing, enhanced analytics, ALM tool integration and feeding results back into a continuous integration tool. I asked Broder about what was driving this trend. He answered:
I think this is all driven by Agile and this whole DevOps movement where people want to build very, very often and release small chunks of code into the user community in a very fast and efficient way. They need the tools that will allow them to find bugs in an automated way and test the performance before you push it, or even after you push it, into production so that you can protect your users from functional problems, from performance problems, and I think that’s why we’re seeing a lot of automation in the industry. I think that trend will continue.
I asked Gartner analyst Tom Murphy to compare and contrast the three announcements. He explains that each tool catches bugs in different ways, but they are very complementary:
There are a number of different places to find defects or ways to find them. Coverity is focused on the analysis of source code to find defects, Replay is focused on identifying defects that occur while the application is running by capturing what is happening in the environment and SOASTA is just “reading” functional testing to their story line, which is a way to automate tests from a user perspective. So rather than looking at the source like Coverity, I use SOASTA (or say HP QTP, or others), to drive the application and monitor for deviations from the expected behavior. I use Replay Solutions while I run tests to provide a detailed recording to the developer so that when a defect is found they can identify what is going wrong faster (ie. I don’t have to reproduce the defect), and I can also use this in production to capture crash info, etc. Now with their most recent product, ReplayLightning, there is more of a connection between what is happening at execution time, which is kind of a Dynamic Source Analysis rather than the Static Analysis that Coverity and others provide. This is important because in dynamic languages there are things you don’t know until run time.
In short, the tools are all complementary to each other.
Though code analysis is available for Java, C, C++ and C# code, Coverity has a growing user base in the Java community. Coverity has a booth at this week’s JavaOne conference and attending are Jennifer Johnson, Coverity’s VP of Product Marketing and Zach Samocha, VP of Product Management.
I spoke with Johnson and Samocha about how the announcement will affect the Java community. Johnson explained the importance of seamless work flow that Java developers are looking for in ALM solutions.
What we’ve seen historically in the static analysis market is that if the technology doesn’t seamlessly fit into the developer work flow and slows them down, developers aren’t going to adopt the tool, especially in Java where they’re under extreme time-to-market pressure, [and doing] Agile development [and] iterative testing. They need to be able to test their code in a way that’s not intrusive.
We’ve created a series of integrations either into our platform or out into other development tools into the Java tool chain to help the Java workflow.
Integrations that Java users specifically will be interested in are those with the popular open source tool FindBugs, the Eclipse IDE, as well as with Jenkins Continuous Integration Server.
Samocha said they are receiving very positive customer reactions from the Java community, with their support of Android and mobile testing as well as their integration with FindBugs, Eclipse and Jenkins.
I think [users have wanted] the adoption of open source technologies within knowledge enterprises which has been a challenge so far, so it’s been a big push from the customer base and we’re getting really good feedback from the actual users at the JavaOne conference.
Samocha emphasized that Coverity 5.5 has introduced a big performance improvement with up to 10x improvements in analysis speed.
Coverity 5.5 also integrates with Visual Studio IDEs and, of course, the biggest integration announcement, HP’s ALM tool suite.
Gartner analyst Tom Murphy said of the HP integration:
For Coverity, it is really about the relationship with HP which is hopefully broader market access. From an HP perspective as they try to move into a stronger overall ALM market they need better connection to developers so this provides a nice connect from the developer world and view of code quality, now integrated into the overall view of quality.
And Theresa Lanowitz, Founder and Analyst at voke, inc. noted the integration of HP and Coverity as complementary:
ALM solutions are not a “one size/one vendor fits all” philosophy. Innovative technologies from a variety of vendors prove to be complementary in a number of areas for ALM vendors. The Coverity/HP ALM integration is a perfect example of that complementary effect. Coverity has an innovative solution that solves a classic computing problem. HP has an ALM solution that focuses on traceability throughout the lifecycle. The two vendors have technology that is completely complementary and delivers complete insight on quality throughout the lifecycle. Most importantly, the traceability of assets and the visibility of code quality prevent egregious issues and defects from reaching production and impacting the brand and the business.
When asked if this trend will continue, Lanowitz answered:
We should expect to see more ALM integrations with complementary technologies to solve some very difficult problems. IT organizations should be actively evaluating and adopting these complementary solutions. IT organizations should also make sure they are on the latest release of the tool sets they use. Recent releases have made significant advancements and will deliver strategic value to an organization when used effectively.
Lean development is also getting a lot of attention, and vendors are looking at including Kanban support as part of their wares.
In the video below, Forrester analyst Dave West speaks about what he sees as ALM trends, including more support for cloud computing and mobile development.
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How about you? What enhancements would you like to see from ALM vendors? What trends are you seeing?]]>
Agile requirements: A conversation with author Dean Leffingwell, part 1
Author of Agile Software Requirements – Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise Dean Leffingwell talks about the differences between Agile and traditional requirements practices and gives advice on what to look for in Agile requirements tools.
Requirements in Scrum environments: Q&A with Dean Leffingwell, part 2
Dean Leffingwell, author of Agile Software Requirements – Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise, answers questions about requirements management in Scrum environments.
The value of visible requirements
Chris McMahon describes the experience of migrating requirements data from a difficult-to-use tool to a whiteboard that clearly displays requirements and status.
Getting on the same page: How testers can help clarify requirements
Agile expert Lisa Crispin gives helpful advice to testers on helping to clarify requirements. Programmers, testers and business experts must work together to ensure requirements are well-understood.
Want more? Dean Leffingwell will be presenting at the Virtual Trade Show on April 27th: Beating Key ALM Challenges.]]>
Trends in ALM: Requirements management tools
In this interview with Forrester analyst Mary Gerush, we hear about five important ALM trends in requirements management tools and explore questions organizations may want to consider when selecting a requirements management tool.
Seven steps for tracking requirements throughout a software release
In this article, Kay Diller shows you in seven simple steps how to develop, document, track and test business requirements throughout a release.
Business requirements: Five steps to exceed business expectations
Kay Diller explains five ideas to help business partners and developers work together to ensure a release that is not only acceptable, but exceeds everyone’s expectations.
Requirements tips for data-centric projects
In this tip, requirements expert Sue Burk describes strategies for working with the business to understand data usage with detailed scenarios, allowing your data-centric projects to be designed right the first time.
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Kersten presented at this week’s The Server Side Java Symposium:
Mylyn 3.4 and the New Face of the Java IDE and
Bringing Code to the Cloud and Back Again
I’m excited about our lineup for the month, starting with these three pieces we published this week about automation in ALM:
Test automation: When, how and how much
Test automation has often been touted as an important part of an organization’s quality strategy. However, it’s not a silver bullet. In this tip, consultant David Johnson describes important considerations in determining when to invest in test automation, how to implement the program, and how much of your application space should be automated.
UI Testing: Automated and Exploratory
Should user interface (UI) testing be automated or exploratory? In this tip, SSQ contributor Chris McMahon answers that both automated and exploratory testing can be used for UI testing, and what is most effective is using them together. McMahon explains when each type of testing is appropriate and how used together, they can complement one another to provide the most comprehensive UI test coverage.
Six Tips for Selecting Automated Test Tools for Agile Development
Software consultant Nari Kannan describes the differences between agile application lifecycle management tools and traditional lifecycle management software. Agile ALM tools are more tightly integrated, easier to use, support distributed teams and seamlessly integrate many of the traditional lifecycle management functions.