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Click Here for A Special Announcement!

Special Annoucement

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JohnLaurieWe have been developing a plan of collaboration over the past seven months and proceeding to implement it, and it is now time to tell everyone about it. It started with John, who wanted to find a way to ease off on his busy workload over the next few years. He wanted to “develop” a “technical heir” to whom he would transfer all the “SRE lore” he had accumulated over time and wanted to eventually pass on for the benefit of everyone: books, course, tutorials, overviews, envisaged possible improvements to book and course, tools, web site, etc. Just making the books available would leave much untransferred; he wanted to do something more dynamic that someone could build on and continue to grow; hence the “technical heir” concept. The foregoing implied someone with outstanding qualifications, highly likely to become one of the top international leaders in the field in the near future. He didn’t have to look far, as he had worked with Laurie in a number of professional activities, including co-authorship.

Laurie wanted to expand on her base of university teaching and research activities, enriching them with teaching and consulting in industry. She wanted to further advance SRE by doing more empirical case studies of successful (and unsuccessful) teams. She envisioned adding to the SRE book and course, especially contributing her background in testing.

Anyway, we have formed the collaboration and it has been a perfect fit. She has thoroughly prepared herself and now meets the stringent standards required to be a certified software reliability engineering instructor. As of June 2007 she has taken on the responsibilities for research activities, for this website, and for marketing (primarily the courses) for our group. She will also be teaching, along with myself, our course “More Reliable Software Faster and Cheaper.”

At this point, let me introduce Laurie, who will tell you a little bit about herself, her background, and her plans for the future:

I am an associate professor in the Computer Science department at North Carolina State University (NCSU) where I teach software engineering and, more specifically, software reliability and testing. Prior to joining NCSU, I worked at IBM for nine years. At NCSU, I am the director of the Center for Open Software Engineering. I also lead the Software Engineering Realsearch (no, “Realsearch” not a typo) group primarily consisting of world-class PhD students. The motto of our “Realsearch” group is “Real Engineers – Real Projects – Real Impact” because all our fundamental software engineering research is ultimately applied in an industrial environment before a student graduates. Through this “real” research, I have worked and continue to work closely with a variety of companies, including IBM, Nortel, ABB, Microsoft, Tekelec, Sabre Airlines, and EMC. I feel that working with a variety of companies helps me be a better instructor (of both university students and practitioners) and helps me ground our research in the practical problems of industry today.

I am excited about my new collaboration with John and very honored that John has chosen me to be his technical heir. Through his work over the last few decades, John has established a thorough, systematic engineering process that a myriad of companies have used to economically improve software reliability by focusing on and reducing the faults that could have ended up as customer failures. In the future, I would like to work with companies that would like to transition to the use of software reliability engineering and to empirically assess the business impact of the transition. Additionally, my plans are to integrate my research and teaching in agile software development, software testing, and software security into software reliability engineering.

We should point out that Bill Everett, although not officially part of our collaboration, is a very close associate of ours; we have worked together in many ways in the past and expect to do so in the future. Bill is the third of only three instructors worldwide who are certified to teach the course “More Reliable Software Faster and Cheaper.”

Finally, we also want to introduce Laurie’s son, Chris Williams, who is joining us as Web Designer.

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JOHN D. MUSA
Software Reliability Engineering and Testing Courses

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