Friday (September 5) marked the kickoff of the Students in Software Engineering (SSE), an organization that I started with my labmate and friend, Justin Enderle. The idea for the organization started in spring 2008 during Software Engineering faculty candidate interviews. As a newer student Justin did not know his peers sitting around the table. In a relatively small department like Software Engineering, the students should know one another.

We started sowing the seeds this summer. Our goal was simple: unite the students in Software Engineering. However, formalizing that goal and deciding how to proceed has involved a great deal of work. We had numerous meetings with EDGE assistant director, Rick Scott, as well as our adviser, Dr. Christine Julien, as we hammered out the kinks. I’m extremely proud of our progress!

After a great deal of effort and a lot of lessons learned, we were able to launch successfully! Our first meeting featured a mix of sodas and water, lots of Domino’s pizza, and a talk by the always awesome Dr. Christine Julien. We had 31 students and 3 faculty from the Software Engineering track in attendance. Our favorite oracle, Rick Scott, also showed up–woot!

In addition to a strong turnout and positive feedback, the organization gained two excellent new officers: Dave DeAngelis and Robert Grant. With the extra help the organization is stronger than ever, and Justin and I should be able to continue doing our jobs–researching :)

Overall, I am very pleased with our first meeting and our general progress. I’ve learned a lot about starting an organization, marketing your brand, managing people, and being a constructive, productive audience member. I look forward to future lessons-learned and organizational successes!