Yesterday’s program opened with an official conference welcome from SEI director and CEO Paul Nielsen. He warmly welcomed everyone to Albuquerque–a city he called home for several years–and expressed special thanks to all of the first-time attendees as well as several individuals who have been to all 24 SEPG North America conferences. Nielsen also noted that SEPG North America is a global conference with attendees coming from more than 20 countries from around the world. Nielsen closed his remarks by introducing keynote speaker Walker Royce, a second-generation software engineer, author, and chief software economist in the IBM Software Group.
Royce delivered a presentation titled “Measured Improvement in Software” to a captive audience of more than 500 attendees. He opened the talk by introducing the idea that software delivery is an economic discipline and then walked attendees through six econometric patterns for measuring and steering toward improved economic outcomes. He outlined the foundational principles for software-driven innovation: integrate, collaborate, and optimize. When speaking about “optimize,” Royce urged attendees to plan project milestones so integration precedes unit testing, an idea he acknowledged may seem counterintuitive.
Throughout his 45-minute talk, Royce shared many practical, applicable solutions as well as inspirational ideas. “In software, we’re only bound by human imagination,” Royce said. “Our decisions are often determined by value judgment.”
In summary, Royce noted that better software economics is a result of measured improvement for improved predictability and agility for improved operational efficiency.
Following Royce’s presentation, Paul Mesterhazy, the acting deputy director of the National Cyber Security Division and former chief of staff for the Office of Cybersecurity & Communications, delivered prepared remarks.
Dave Zubrow, SEPG North America 2012 program co-chair, closed the plenary session by encouraging attendees to be actively engaged over the next few days and to take advantage of all the conference has to offer.