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More than 110 Attendees Gather for the TSP Symposium 2010


September 30, 2010—Attendees from 15 U.S. states and 10 countries around the world visited Pittsburgh, the headquarters city for the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, for the TSP Symposium 2010.  Themed Changing the World of Software Engineering, the fifth annual Symposium provided seasoned users of the Team Software Process (TSP), those involved in its development and transition, and those who are new to TSP with four days of enriching tutorials, plentiful networking opportunities, and engaging presentations.

Kicking off the TSP Symposium was a day-long tutorial, Exploring TSP: An Introduction. William Nichols and Timothy Chick, both senior members of the technical staff for the SEI’s Software Engineering Process Management Program, led a group of more than 25 professionals and graduate students in this introductory course that provided an overview of the key concepts and principles of TSP and the Personal Software Process (PSP).

“While the tutorial attendees came for a variety of reasons—like wanting to know how TSP and CMMI work together, wanting to dive deeper into the data, and just getting the basics on how to implement TSP—what we heard was that everyone left with a solid foundation of knowledge needed to introduce and apply TSP in their respective organizations,” commented Nichols, who also served as the TSP Symposium 2010 technical program chair.  “We reinforced the idea that quality work doesn’t happen by accident. Rather, it’s an artifact of careful planning.”

Additionally, more than 40 representatives from SEI Partner organizations attended a one-day Partner workshop, which covered topics including updates to TSP and PSP tools, joint SEI and Partner marketing efforts, the launch of the SEI’s Accelerated Improvement Method (AIM), the integration of TSP with other SEI tools and models, Partner Advisory Board activities, and new developments in the SEI’s eLearning efforts. The meeting concluded with an open forum session to discuss quality aspects for TSP implementation.

Each of the subsequent three days of the TSP Symposium 2010 opened with a keynote presentation by notable speakers David Webb, Hill Air Force Base; Cynthia Dion-Schwarz, Officer of the Director, Defense Research & Engineering; and Barry Dwolatzky, The Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).

Keynote addresses covered topics including:

how, despite the TSP’s many successes, adopting TSP into an organization comes with risks and challenges, and how to deal with those obstacles

the Department of Defense’s Software Technology Maturity Assessment (TRAs), how the TRAs are conducted, and how maturity assessments should precede or interlace proper software engineering practices, such as CMMI, TSP, or Agile

how to teach programming and the introduction of PSP into the curriculum at two South African universities

A variety of technical presentations, panel sessions, interactive sessions, and birds-of-a-feather meetings rounded out a full symposium schedule.  The birds-of-a-feather sessions allowed attendees to freely exchange ideas on a number of self-selected topics of interest, including experiences with using TSP with Agile methods and the new CERTPOINT e-Learning System. Additionally, TSP key learning points reached beyond just those at the symposium with live-tweeting through the @SEINews account.

A trip to Pittsburgh wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the local flavors. At a welcome reception, attendees reconnected with familiar friends and made new acquaintances over Primanti’s-style sandwiches, with feature coleslaw and French fries inside the bread, and other fun fare.

TSP Symposium 2011 will be held in Atlanta in September 2011. The specific dates and locations will be announced at