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EuroSTAR Conference 20th Anniversary Message

  • 07/11/2012
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

I wish to extend my special congratulations on this happy occasion of EuroSTAR’s 20th anniversary. I had hoped to be there with you to enjoy the festivities, but this brief message will have to suffice. I salute all the past chairs for the great programs they have put together and the many thousands of you who have participated over the years as unsung contributors, sponsors, vendors, speakers and delegates. Together your support has brought EuroSTAR to the pre-eminent position it holds today.

Just in case you didn’t already know, you have me to thank (or blame) for getting the EuroSTAR conferences started. My aim was to help knit together the testing community through shared testing experiences and to help build respect and added value for software testing. Now 20 years later, I can brag about being your founding father and truly say that you have exceeded my fondest hopes and aspirations.

I was heavily involved with the first 6 EuroSTAR conferences – selecting venues, hiring conference staff and contracting program chairs and keynote speakers. It was clear EuroSTAR needed a full-time professional European conference management team and I am ever so grateful we found QualTech. Over the years my respect and admiration for the job they do has continued to grow and I feel the European testing community is exceedingly fortunate to have them running your events.

I appointed myself as Program Chair for the 1998 conference as sort of a final retirement gig. I don’t remember much about the technical program, but I sure do remember the great time everyone had and how much fun it was. That year was the first time we could afford a decent budget for social events and we made the most of it with a rousing Bavarian welcome party at Munich’s most storied beer hall and an elegant medieval castle themed banquet complete with strolling minstrels and court jesters. It was a memorable week and really helped foster friendships across the European testing community.

The theme for that conference was “Changing the Way Europe Thinks About Software Testing”. Reflecting on your 20 year run of successful conferences, it seems clear that EuroSTAR really has changed the way Europe thinks about testing and has made a very positive impact. High visibility software failures still emerge like the $440 million loss Knight Capital Group suffered in just 40 minutes of online trading this past August 1st. That disaster (which made it to the front page of the Wall Street Journal) stemmed from old computer software that was inadvertently reactivated when a new program was installed. It serves as a stark reminder of how even the simplest mistakes can have enormous consequences and emphasizes how essential effective testing and assurance practices have become for so many enterprises. For the most part though I am amazed at how wonderfully our ever more complex and integrated software performs and how much society now depends upon it. I feel we owe enormous gratitude to our often under-appreciated software testing professionals and to industry conferences like EuroSTAR for their role in creating and maintaining a great deal of very good and even some really great software.

So it is very gratifying to realize that something I started 20 years ago has had a lasting legacy and really made a difference. Hopefully, all the Program Chairs being honored are able to look back on their experiences with the kind of warmth, fondness and pride that I have. I want to thank and add my personal recognition to each of them and also the many, many others along the way who helped EuroSTAR to be such a success. I wish there was some way we could also recognize each of you individually and hope you realize how much your participation and support mattered.

Bill and his wife Nancy live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and have a cottage on the coast of Maine in the town of Friendship. “Retirement” time is devoted to being the proud “Poppy” of four incredible grandchildren, traveling, boating, lots of tennis and visiting with family and friends. Bill would welcome hearing from any new or old testers and invites you to stop in and see him if you are passing through Florida. You can reach him at [email protected]

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