SEI Hosts 23rd Annual SEPG North America in Portland

The Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and Portland, Oregon, played host for SEPG North America 2011 from March 21-24, 2011. Approximately 650 professionals convened to learn and explore topics related to The Power of Process. This four-day gathering offered quality tutorials, top-notch technical sessions, engaging keynote addresses, and plentiful networking opportunities.

“From the exhibit hall to the session rooms to the social events, attendees used every opportunity to expand their professional networks, share knowledge, and discover practical solutions,” said Gian Wemyss, SEPG North America 2011 technical program co-chair.

“The technical discussions covered a range of topics, including agile and lean software methods, combining multiple models, the gap between software as developed versus deployed, CMMI and cloud computing, the Team Software Process, and the Accelerated Improvement Method,” added Palma Buttles, SEPG North America 2011 technical program co-chair.

SEPG: From Concept to Community

Tuesday opened with tribute to the late Watts Humphrey, founder of the SEI’s Software Process Program and a National Medal of Technology recipient, who died on October 28, 2010. Humphrey first introduced the notion of the Software Engineering Process Group in his book, Managing the Software Process, and the concept has now grown into an international conference series. A series of speakers shared their thoughts on Humphrey’s life and accomplishments.

“Watts’s numerous professional accomplishments are underscored by the fact that he began his SEI career when he was 62—an age when many people consider retirement,” said Anita Carleton, director, SEI Software Engineering Process Management Program. “Now, his life’s work is in our hands as we explore software engineering process, architecture, and security approaches that can serve as technical and business differentiators for world-class performance.”

Just before their address, Tuesday’s keynote speakers K. Dinesh and S. Kumar of Infosys Technologies Limited accepted the 2009 IEEE Computer Society/Software Engineering Institute Software Process Achievement (SPA) Award for establishing a cost-effective, sustained, and culturally integrated quality and productivity improvement program during a period of extraordinary corporate growth.

Tuesday evening, SEPG North America 2011 attendees tried their hand at the tables in a casino-themed gala reception. When their luck ran out, attendees had the option to purchase additional casino funds, the sales of which benefitted Tech Start, an Oregon nonprofit organization that promotes wider access to technology education for K-12 students.

Wednesday opened with keynote presentations from William “Liam” Durbin who spoke about “Racing Luck” and applying big-business IT skills to a niche business; and Dr. Harry Hertz, who offered insights on the Baldrige approach to performance excellence and shared easy steps attendees can take to improve their own organization. These presentations touched on the theme of fact-based decision-making versus pure intuition and luck, with the consensus being that there is room for both in professional ventures.

Reaching New Levels of Excellence in 2012

Wemyss also shared the official announcement regarding the SEPG North America 2012 location of Albuquerque, New Mexico. With the theme Reaching New Levels of Excellence, the 24th annual SEPG North America conference will help attendees to understand both principle and practice, to deliver value, and to maximize impact and business results that they can take home to their organizations.

SEPG is the premier global conference series on software and systems process management, and dates and locations have been set for future SEPG Conferences around the world. SEPG Europe 2011 will be held in Dublin, Ireland in June 7-9, 2011.

SEI Director and CEO Paul Nielsen Gives SEPG North America 2011 Conference Welcome


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