Computer Society


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Ross Smith, Director of Test, Office Communicator and Design Group
Microsoft Corporation

Ross Smith has been in the software industry for over 20 years, developing and testing software on everything from mainframe systems to handheld devices and PC's. He began his Microsoft career in Product Support in 1991 and has been a Test Lead, Test Manager, and Test Architect. He has been a long-time member of the Test Architect's Group, and has worked on almost every version of Windows and Office since 1995. He is one of the authors of “The Practical Guide to Defect Prevention” and holds 5 software patents. Over the last couple years, he has nurtured a management innovation initiative called 42projects, aspiring to inject cultural change and “bring buzz to the hallways”. He leads the Advisory Council for the Incubation Technical Community Network (TCN). You may get his weekly iNews or Management iNews. Recently, he won an M-Prize from the McKinsey/Management Innovation Exchange (MiX), where he is a “Moonshot Guide” for “Take the Work out of Work”. The Communicate Hope case study was one of the “Most Popular Stories & Hacks of 2010”. Some of the games work was covered in Forbes and Forrester.

He has been a guest poster on Google’s Testing Blog. The London School of Business and the Management Innovation Lab published a case study of 42projects entitled, “Game On: Theory Y meets Generation Y” His team’s work on productivity games was mentioned in The Economist, in the recent book “Changing the Game: How Video Games are Transforming the Future of Business.” He is experimenting with how gaming can improve productivity among next-generation workers, and the impact of games and social networking tools on management education and requisite skills for new managers. He has been interviewed by the Trusted Advisor , Dr. Dobb’s, MSDN, and others, and has spoken recently at STPCon, “Future of Work” conference, Google’s Test Automation Conference in Zurich, Corbis, MIT’s Innovation Lab, and more. He will participate in the Great Gamification Debate at GDC in February.

Keynote 1: The Future of Software Testing: Delivering Quality at Scale Across Devices and Platforms in a Highly Connected World


Alexander Graham Bell realized the value of the "network effect" in 1908 - the idea that critical mass improves the value of the network. Metcalfe's law has guided technological developments for decades. However, this exponential growth challenges the notion of software testing as a method to assure and improve quality. For every one of Metcalfe's n or n2, should we hire two more testers? The test matrix for any networked product has expanded beyond capacity.

As we think about cloud computing, identity, privacy, and security, smart devices, a global workforce, games and social networking, and a revolution in content -- how do we ensure we can deliver a high quality experience at scale and on schedule? New approaches such as crowdsourcing, testing in production, big data and analytics must evolve, co-exist with --perhaps supplant -- traditional functional testing and related techniques of the past.

Date: Tuesday 19, 2013 (TBC)

Stephanie Forrest, Professor of Computer Science, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA

Stephanie Forrest is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Professor Forrest received the Ph.D. in Computer and Communication Sciences from the University of Michigan. Before joining UNM she worked for Teknowledge Inc. and was a Director's Fellow at the Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory. Professor Forrest is a member of the External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute and Co-chair of its Science Board. She also served as SFI's Interim Vice President 1999-2000.

Professor Forrest directs the Adaptive Computation Laboratory at UNM, where she studies adaptive systems, including genetic algorithms, computational immunology, biological modeling, automated software repair, and computer security. She is also a member of the Program in Interdisciplinary Biological & Biomedical Science (PIBBS) and the Center for Evolutionary and Theoretical Immunology (CETI).

You can find her CV here.

Current projects result from the generous support of the National Science Foundation EF 1038682 & SHF0905236, the National Institute of Health COBRE Grant 5 P20 RR018754-03, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) P-1070-113237, and the The Santa Fe Institute.

Keynote 2: The Mutational Robustness of Software


Computer programmers like to think of software as the product of intelligent design, carefully crafted to meet well-specified goals. In reality, software systems evolve inadvertently through the actions of many individual programmers, causing software to resemble biological systems in surprising ways. The talk will examine the biological concepts of mutational robustness and neutral landscapes, exploring their relevance to software and comparing them to mutation testing.

Mutational robustness is defined to be the fraction of random mutations that leave a program’s behavior unchanged. Test cases are used to measure program behavior and the mutation operators are taken from genetic programming.  Preliminary results will also be presented that demonstrate how software mutational robustness can be leveraged to improve software reliability.

Date: Wednesday 20, 2013 (TBC)

Jean Hilger, Senior Vice President and Head of Information Technology at the State and Savings Bank, Luxembourg (BCEE)

Luxemburgish nationality born in 1961. Received his education in several universities in Strasbourg. He holds college degrees in Computer Sciences and Political Sciences, in Theology and Economics. Later he realized a postgraduate degree in Computer Sciences and Doctorate studies at the INRIA in Nancy. 1990 he obtained a PhD in Management Sciences at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg.

Elected CIO of the year in 2008 and 2010. Since 2006 he has been working as the Senior Vice President and Head of Information Technology at BCEE (State and Savings Bank Luxembourg) where he started in 1992 as a Project Coordinator.

President of the Advisory Board of the Congress ICT Spring Europe; President of the Board of Directors of the NGO Foundation Follereau Luxembourg.

Keynote 3: When finance holds off crashes


The finance industry has become increasingly complex by both refining its business opportunities and adopting stronger regulations. The software development teams are challenged to understand the growing complexity and anticipate the evolution of business rules as they design and maintain integrated information systems.  Extensive testing of software has become a demanding task for the whole sector.  

We will review the methods used to produce reliable banking software and design resilient data centres by taking into account the specifics of the Luxemburgish regulatory framework.

Date: Thursday 21, 2013 (TBC)