The QW and QWE Conference events provided a valuable service to the worldwide software quality community for many years.
We organized 15 Quality Week Conferences (held annually from 1987 through 2002) and 5 Quality Week Europe Conferences (held annually from 1988 through 2002). There have been 20 QW/QWE conferences since 1988 (one QWE was delayed because of the 9/11 attacks, and the schedule for QW had to be shifted by a half-year).
The Volunteer QW/QWE Advisory Boards for our conferences involved some ~275 people, many of whom served for multiple years and for multiple Conferences. They were chosen for their expertise and their ability to guide the technical content of the event, and they did a great job! They are the main reason QW/QWE papers always got high marks for technical content, and why so many QW/QWE papers are cited in the technical literature.
Overall the twenty QW/QWE Conferences presented some 115 Keynote Talks by top-notch industry leaders. The Conferences included 35 tutorial days, involving nearly 200 different tutorial speakers. The main Conference tracks involved ~950 regular Conference Technical Presentations.
The total attendance at all QW/QWE events was somewhat over 15,000 professionals, including over 7,000 in the last 5 years of the event (10 conferences in San Francisco and Brussels). Over the 15 years of Quality Week Conferences, ~275 different companies exhibited their products and services at the associated Quality Week Expo and Quality Week Europe Expo events.
Firsts & Kudos
The QW/QWE conferences featured many industry-first announcements and presentations. Our unique approach of strict separation of vendor and commercial interests from the technical conference content was a key measure of the success. The QW/QWE conferences spotted future trends and presented "first ever" topics on a range of new technologies, new approaches to software quality, and new initiatives in the industry.
The unique blend of research papers from an academic or R&D perspective was combined very effectively with practical solution papers usually derived from real-world experience. QW/QWE presented a unique platform -- free from the biases of commercial exploitation, and in a spirit of free and open exchange of ideas.
Moreover, the QW/QWE forum provided many now-well-known speakers with their very first opportunities -- based mainly on the merit of their content and not on the size of their employers' budget. Many QW/QWE speakers/presenters have made their fortunes in the software quality arena in part because of the exposure they received at QW/QWE.
As one of our Advisory Board Members commented, "QW/QWE provided a professional, peer-reviewed conference that was otherwise missing." Over those years we served over 15,000 people in the 20 Quality Week events we ran.
The main focus of QW/QWE conferences was in processes and technology used to achieve quality in client-server software development projects and applications. These technologies have advanced so far that by 2004 it is clear that the need for enhanced quality and new technologies for achieving quality in this area of activity had diminished. In effect, the QW/QWE core objective of supporting achieving client-server software quality had been fulfilled!
What is the single ever-present reality where quality -- and possible lack of it -- has a over-reaching impact? Just as in the late 1990's through 2002 it was client-server software development, in the decade to come it became self-evident that the biggest need is for "Quality" will be in the internet.
But now, in the 2020's, it's time think about "what's next" in the quality and testing technologies?
With concentration of power within the internet in a smaller and smaller number of hands, and widespread evidence of systematic abuse in science and politics (think pandemics and elections!), assuring quality in software seems to a more and more important subject.