SD West Adds a Biz Track
- By John K. Waters
The annual Software Development Conference and Expo
West gets under way this week in Santa Clara, CA (March 13-17). Now in its 19th year, it's safe to call SD West ''venerable,''
but event organizers aren't resting on their walkers; this year's
show features an intriguing new business-of-software track that I predict will be very
Current conference manager Tami Carter, who has been on the job since
January, credits her predecessor, Nicole Garbolino (now director of event
operations) and the conference advisory board with the idea for the new biz
''The classes are designed to cover a lot of topics that people running
software businesses need to know about,'' she says. ''They're topics that
attendees really seemed be consistently interested in.''
Attendees following the new biz track will find a very down-to-earth group of
sessions covering such topics as managing startup programmers, open source and
the entrepreneur, creating a winning founding team, the pros and cons of
outsourcing, and presenting to a venture capitalist.
Particularly worthy of note—at least as a concept—is a biz session with the
painfully hokey title, ''Have I Got What it Takes to be a Successful
Entrepreneur?'' Its hokiness notwithstanding, that’s a damned good question. If
the panel of ''serial entrepreneurs'' assembled to help engineers who are
thinking of launching a startup understand what it takes to become a successful
entrepreneur can really answer it, this session ought to be mandatory.
Kudos to SD West organizers for consistently emphasizing ''conference'' over
''expo.'' Attendees will find 55 companies showcasing their latest products on
the exhibit floor, and more than 200 classes and tutorials sorted into 12
tracks, including C++; Java Programming; Modeling and Design; .NET Development;
People, Process, and Methods; Requirements and Analysis; Security; Testing and
Quality; Web Services; XML Development; a ''Grab Bag'' track; and the new biz
''We have an expo and there are exhibitors, but this conference is about the
training and the classes,'' says Carter. ''We remain vendor neutral, and we
focus on the technology, not the tools.''
If there’s a not-to-be-missed event at this show, it’s
the much-anticipated Model Driven Development Face Off, with panelists Jack
Greenfield (Microsoft), Jon Kern (Compuware), Scott Ambler (Ambysoft), Granville
Miller (Microsoft), Juha-Pekka Tolvanen (MetaCase), and David Frankel (SAP
Labs). I think this might be the second or third time these folks have gone head-to-head on MDD issues.
The show also features some awards presentations (Jolt Product Excellence and
Productivity; Dr. Dobb’s Excellence in Programming); a free movie (Boondoggle
Films’ exclusive screening of the documentary Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks with
Geeks), and some interesting keynoters (more on them later in the
My head hurts already in anticipation of
all the knowledge.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached