I don't claim to be a software expert, but I have dabbled, so it was very nice indeed to be invited to be part of an Expert panel for an hour of questions, answers and banter.
The other 3 panel members were Prof. Les Hatton (he of Kingston University and Safer C fame), Paul Goodman from Shell and Mike Andrews from Microsoft. All had written columns in the Impact section of IEEE software. I was drafted in at a late stage when a potential panel member from Tom-Tom had (for very good reasons) to drop out. The panel was chaired by Michiel van Genuchten who set the stage and asked some very probing questions. It was good fun.
I really enjoyed Diomidis Spinellis talk on Theory Meets Reality: Managing IT Systems at the Greek Ministry of Finance. If you think you have it hard, imaging being drafted into the Greek Treasury in 2009. I spoke to Dimonidis after the event, he was a nice guy, very modest and pragmatic. Not sure how deep his sins were to deserve 2 year of that though.
A couple of talks mentioned or were about technical debt which I think is one of the area's current buzz words.
With a 5am start and getting home at midnight, it was a long day, but well worth it.