Monthly Archives: March 2011

SEPG North America 2011 Conference Closing Remarks from Bob Rosenstein

“In the wee small hours of the morning, while all of you are fast asleep, you lie awake and think about this week, and never even think of counting sheep.”

With apologies to the songwriters Bob Hilliard and David Mann, these lyrics sum up my thoughts as we conclude SEPG North America 2011.

It has been my distinct privilege to lead the group of dedicated SEI staff who brought you the 23rd annual SEPG North America conference.  Whether at the podium, standing at the SEI exhibit booth, scurrying behind the scenes, or supporting from back in our offices in Pittsburgh, each and every person involved in this year’s conference has been united in our goal to bring you the best possible event.

As I have said to many of you throughout the week, I cannot emphasize how important your feedback through the surveys will be as we move forward with plans for SEPG North America 2012. While every comment, concern, or suggestion cannot be simultaneously resolved, we take your responses to heart and will do our best to improve next year’s event so that you are “Reaching New Levels of Excellence.”

I wish each of you safe journeys, continued success, and high hopes that we will see each other again in March 2012 in Albuquerque, NM.

Many Thanks!


Bob Rosenstein
Manager, Conferences, Events, and Trade Shows
Software Engineering Institute

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Tuesday at SEPG North America 2011: Brought to You by Voodoo Doughnuts

SEPG North America 2011 isn’t always serious. We try to have some fun, too!

During Tuesday’s afternoon break, the technical co-chair Palma Buttles and the SEI’s Mike Phillips talk about Portland’s famous Voodoo doughnuts–Tuesday’s featured afternoon snack. Keep your eyes peeled for a sneak appearance by an attendee, too!

Did you try a Voodoo doughnut? What was your favorite kind?

SEPG North America 2011: Winning at Casino Night

I have wanted to write this next line since we decided to hold Casino Night as part of SEPG North America 2011…“So, did you get lucky last night?”

Seriously, thanks to all of you who attended last night’s Gala Reception. Not only was the food fun to eat, the beverages flowing, the conversations fascinating, but your generosity was in full force. Our partners at the TechStart Education Foundation of Portland reported that your purchase of additional scrip resulted in more than $610 being raised to assist students use technology in a hands-on environment in their schools. On their behalf, I thank you for your contributions. If you weren’t in the room at the conclusion of the event, watch this video to see the announcement of the top three winners.



I have enjoyed walking throughout the Oregon Convention Center these past two days and have appreciated all the feedback I have received from you.  On page 9 of your Program and Directory, take a moment to review the listing of the best and hardest-working SEI employees who dedicate a tremendous amount of time and energy to bring you this annual conference.

It is my hope that each of you MAXimizes your last full evening of SEPG North America 2011 by taking the complimentary light rail system to explore the many dining options throughout Portland’s neighborhoods.



Bob Rosenstein
Manager of Events, Conferences, and Trade Shows

Software Engineering Institute

SEPG Social Media Sweepstakes: Week 1 Winners and How to Enter for Week 2

Thanks to everyone who participated in our SEPG North America 2011 Social Media Sweepstakes. We have used random number generator to select one winner who entered via Twitter and one winner who entered via blog comments.

We are pleased to announce that @CMMIRox is the Twitter winner and Dave C. is the winner who entered via a blog comment. We will be in touch with the two winners on how to claim this week’s prize.

If you haven’t won, or didn’t enter last week, here is your chance to win a

There are two ways to enter:

1. Twitter: First, make sure you’re following us on twitter @SEPGConferences. Each week in March, we will ask a question from @SEPGConferences. Any Twitter user who responds to @SEPGConferences using the hashtag #SEPGNA will be qualified to win.

2. SEPG Conference Series Blog: Check back every week in March to find a social media sweepstakes question. Simply leave a comment with your response to be qualified to win.

How to Win
Each week in March, one randomly selected Twitter user and one randomly selected blog commenter will each receive a brand-new, signed copy of a book from the The SEI Series in Software Engineering. The winner will be randomly selected by the SEPG team every Friday and contacted via email or Twitter for instructions on claiming the prize.

Official Rules

This Week’s Question
Peruse the list of personas for SEPG North America 2011. What name most closely describes you?

Leave a comment on this post OR tweet your answer to @SEPGConferneces using the hashtag #SEPGNA. You may enter via one method only.

Flying High at the SEPG North America 2011 Exhibits Grand Opening

SEI Director and CEO Paul Nielsen, SEPM Director Anita Carleton, and SEPG North America 2011 technical co-chairs Palma Buttles and Gian Wemyss marked the official opening of the Exhibit Hall with a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon.

After the Exhibits Grand Opening ribbon was cut, Guild Works Art of Air provided a powerful performance that soared high above our heads. Attendees also enjoyed the famous tastes of Portland with foods from four different food carts.

Then and Now Arcade: Monday Winners

In a unique, light-hearted battle of old versus new, the Then and Now Arcade officially opened, offering attendees the chance to play nostalgic Atari and brand-new Wii games. Stop by the exhibit hall to join in on the action. Winners will be announced each day and prizes will be awarded to the top Atari scorer and top Wii scorer.

Here are the “Then” and “Now” champions for Monday, March 21. Be sure to stop by the Then and Now Arcade at the Oregon Convention Center in Exhibit Hall E, Level 1 for a chance to win some great prizes each day of the conference.

Watts Humphrey Memorial Fun Run/Walk: Day One

SEPG North America attendees Norm Hammock and Pat O’Toole are continuing a 15-year tradition of hosting a run each morning of SEPG North America. Formerly dubbed the “Level 5K,” this daily run has been renamed the “Watts Memorial Level 5K Run/Walk” in honor of the late Watts Humphrey, who was instrumental in the creation of the SEPG Conference Series.

While not an official SEPG North America 2011 event, the run/walk organizers invite any interested individuals to join them each morning–rain or shine! Runners and walkers should meet at 6 a.m.in the Doubletree Hotel Portland Lobby and depart for the run from there.

For more info, contact Norm Hammock (phone: 205.585.8750, email: nhammock@aol.com), or Pat O’Toole (email: PACT.otoole@att.net).

Check out this video from the Monday morning run/walk:

SEPG North America 2011 Officially Opens

It’s the first official day of SEPG North America 2011. The first day of the four-day conference offers a full day of tutorials on some of the leading topics in process improvement. Today also features the Exhibits Grand Opening with a performance you won’t want to miss.

Technical program co-chair Gian Wemyss shares his thoughts on the opening morning of the conference.

SEPG North America 2011 Conference Venues: On the Pulse of Sustainability

It’s no coincidence that the SEPG North America 2011 official conference color is green. Our official conference hotel and convention center make it easy to be green.

Built with sustainable products and systems, the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) and Travel Portland have collaborated to establish Portland as the leading destination for green meetings. The OCC was recently recertified with the LEED-EB Silver rating from the United States Green Building Council, making it the first convention center in the nation to achieve recertification at a higher rating.

The Oregon Convention Center manages an extensive material and waste recycling and recovery program that includes pre- and post-consumer organic waste, cardboard, newspaper, cans, plastics, glass bottles, wood pallets, cooking oil, and landscaping trimmings. During set-up and tear-down, SEPG North America 2011 exhibitors will find dedicated recycling containers for paper and cardboard materials. All public spaces, including the areas near Exhibit Hall E and the session rooms, have convenient, clearly marked recycling barrels for waste disposal.

As the first Green Seal Certified hotel in Oregon, the Doubletree Hotel Portland is known for being a pioneer in the travel industry. Some of its environmental accolades include diverting 68% of its overall waste stream from landfills; composting an average of 14-17 tons per month; reducing water use by 15%, and energy use by 32%; offsetting 25% of its annual electricity use by purchasing 900,000 kWh of renewable power; and purchasing 65% of its food products seasonally within a 500-mile region. Do your part by reusing towels and linens, eliminating the need for daily laundering.

We encourage you to be responsible environmental stewards and participate in the sustainable practices set forth by the OCC and the Doubletree Hotel Portland.

Top 10 Tips for Delivering a Powerful PowerPoint Presentation

Welcome to Portland, Oregon! I am looking forward to meeting the many software, systems, and services process improvement professionals from around the world who are attending SEPG North America 2011. For many, the highlight of the conference is the cutting-edge technical program that features sessions selected by their peers.

Individuals presenting at this year’s SEPG North America—or anyone who is delivering a professional presentation, for that matter—may find these presentation tips helpful.

1. On-Time Arrival: Arrive on time for your presentation so that you can familiarize yourself with the presentation equipment in the session room. Learn how to seamlessly jump ahead or back to a certain slide, which your audience may request.

2. Face the Audience: Speak to your audience, not your slides. To fully engage your audience, make eye contact with them and speak toward them and try to avoid turning to your slides behind you.

3. Know Your Audience: You’re standing at the podium because you’re an expert on the topic, but don’t assume everyone else in the audience is on the same level. To relate to people at varying levels of expertise, avoid using jargon, and if you use acronyms, provide a brief definition.

4. Display Confidence: It’s okay to be nervous—it happens to many of us—but it’s not acceptable to be unprepared. Come to your presentation having practiced it several times. The more comfortable you are with your content, the easier it is to relax.

5. Use Humor…the Right Way: Don’t be afraid to incorporate an appropriate dose of humor into your presentation. But be sure that your humor is suitable for the audience and not culturally inappropriate.

6. Cite Your Sources: To display complete transparency and disclosure, know the source for all data that you cite that is not your own.

7. Pacing and Timing: Be aware of the time you have allotted for your presentation and pace yourself accordingly. Finish up your presentation in enough time to allow for audience questions.

8. Anticipate Questions: Before you ever step into the presentation room, spend some time thinking about questions that your audience is likely to ask, and formulate answers in the form of short sound bites so that you can deliver a complete yet succinct answer.

9. Stay on Topic: If audience comments begin to steer the presentation in a different direction, quickly steer the audience back on topic in a polite, assertive manner.

10. Connect: Include relevant social network information at the beginning and end. By including a Twitter name, Facebook group name, or LinkedIn group name, you’re giving your audience ways to connect with you long after your session is through. For attendees who are live-tweeting, this also tells them to what username to attribute key leanings—helping to further establish you as an expert and gain additional followers.

As a senior member of the technical staff at the SEI, I frequently stand up in front of groups of varying sizes to teach courses and deliver presentations at professional conferences and I remind myself of these tips before each presentation.

What tips did you find most helpful? Are there any tips you would like to share? Leave a comment on this post to share your thoughts.

Palma Buttles
SEPG North America 2011 Technical Program Co-Chair

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It’s “March Madness” in Portland for SEPG North America 2011

It’s the SEI’s version of “March Madness” here in Portland! The week begins when SEPG North America opens registration today at 3:00 p.m. and the First-Timers’ Orientation Session starts at 4:00 p.m. Our “final four” days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday when the majority of you will be in professional development activities, sessions, and tutorials.

The SEPG Conference Team arrived in Portland a few days ago and has been busy transforming the Oregon Convention Center and the Doubletree Hotel Portland to welcome our attendees. In between all of the unpacking and setup, we have all taken a few brief moments to make good use of the MAX light rail system to explore Portland and do a little sightseeing.

Our three keynote presenters are ready to share their experiences with you and we have a fitting tribute to Watts Humphrey to kick-off our plenary session on Tuesday. Our exhibitors will be ready to welcome you Monday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. and the final touches are complete for our Gala Reception Tuesday afternoon from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel Portland.

If you are staying at the Doubletree Hotel Portland, your complimentary breakfast buffet starts daily at 6:00 a.m. Complimentary beverages are served at the Oregon Convention Center each morning beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Throughout your SEPG North America 2011 experience, please feel free to stop me at any time (I will be the tired-looking guy in the green SEI polo shirt) and let me know what we are doing well and, more importantly, what can we continue to improve on so that the SEPG Conference Series remains the premier conference choice for your networking and professional development needs.


Bob Rosenstein
Manager of Events, Conferences, and Trade Shows
Software Engineering Institute

SEPG Europe 2011: Super-Early-Bird Registration and Housing Now Open

Reserve your place today at SEPG Europe 2011, the annual learning and networking event for process professionals, and save up to $250. This super-early-bird registration rate is available until 8 April 2011 or when the first 50 people register, whichever occurs first. Register today to get the most savings.

Also, accommodations are now available at The Hotel Burlington. Find out more about the hotel and make your reservations today to enjoy a special SEPG Europe 2011 nightly rate and to stay just steps away from the conference activities.

Why Attend?
SEPG Europe 2011 promises to provide delegates with a technical program, tutorials, and networking opportunities that will help them to be innovative and creative while delivering on-time, high-quality software to their customers. As the global economy shows signs of positive development, these competitive differentiators are a key to an organization’s success.

Program Preview
The SEPG Europe 2011 technical program is currently being assembled from a selection of many high-quality abstracts. The technical program will correspond with the theme the co-chairs have selected for this year’s conference: Global Excellence in Software and Security. What does that mean for delegates?

SEPG Europe 2011 will share research results and business solutions in three critical focus areas: architecture, process improvement, and security. You will gain an increased understanding that will help you optimize your performance in every aspect of your organization. The technical program will help to answer these important questions:

Process Improvement
What are the best practices being used to deliver quality software solutions that meet user needs?
How can I improve my organization’s process to achieve high performance without sacrificing agility?

Security
What security threats and preventative practices should I be aware of to resist attacks on my networked systems?
How do we limit damage and ensure continuity of critical services in spite of attacks, accidents, or failures?

Architecture
How can our organization build a software architecture that contributes to a positive development outcome?
What are the benefits of taking the time to properly design, implement, document, and evaluate a software architecture?

March is Social Media Sweepstakes Month for SEPG North America 2011

The SEPG North America 2011 team is excited to be making the final preparations for this year’s conference in Portland, Oregon on March 21-24, 2011. We’re planning some great ways to showcase the fun, excitement, learning, and networking that will occur over those four days.
To help others share in our excitement and anticipation, the SEPG North America 2011 team is offering you two ways to win some great prizes – just for following along with us. Winners will be selected every Friday at noon EST.

There are two ways to enter:
1. Twitter: First, make sure you’re following us on twitter @SEPGConferences. Each week in March, beginning March 15, we will ask a question from @SEPGConferences. Any Twitter user who responds to @SEPGConferences using the hashtag #SEPGNA will be qualified to win.

2. SEPG Conference Series Blog: Check back every week in March to find a social media sweepstakes question. Simply leave a comment with your response to be qualified to win.

How to Win
Each week in March, one randomly selected Twitter user and one randomly selected blog commenter will each receive a brand-new, signed copy of a book from the The SEI Series in Software Engineering. The winner will be randomly selected by the SEPG team every Friday beginning March 11 and contacted via email or Twitter for instructions on claiming the prize.

Official Rules

This Week’s Question
Take a look at the SEPG North America 2011 conference topics at the bottom of this page . What track looks most interesting to you?

Leave a comment on this post OR tweet your answer to @SEPGConferneces using the hashtag #SEPGNA. You may enter via one method only.