DOD Software Technology Conference kicks off with network-centric program

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah—- The tenth annual Defense Department Software Technology Conference (STC) opens here today for a four-day run at the Salt Palace Convention Center, with 3,300 attendees already pre-registered and roughly 240 information technology vendors scheduled to exhibit.

This year's conference, built around the theme "Knowledge Sharing—- Global Information Networks,'' features 10 concurrent program tracks and 14 half-day tutorials. Topics that will be covered in depth include Year 2000 issues and solutions, security, client/server and distributed computing, DODwide software policies, the Internet and intranets. STC also features major presentations by key DOD IT leaders, including a panel discussion featuring top commanders from the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Dana Dovenbarger, the STC conference manager who works at the Software Technology Support Center at Hill Air Force Base, which is located just outside of Salt Lake City, said STC has evolved into DOD's "premier software conference'' due to the quality and diversity of the program. This, in turn, attracts highly qualified participants who are involved in all aspects of software acquisition, development and maintenance in the three services and the Defense agencies.

"I like to call this the department store of conferences,'' Dovenbarger said, "because whether you are interested in software re-engineering or object-oriented programming, we have something for you.'' STC also provides "excellent networking opportunities'' for DOD software managers and IT professionals, Dovenbarger said, with most of attendees coming from Air Force, Army, Navy and Defense agency organizations throughout the country.

The Salt Lake City has embraced STC over the years, Dovenbarger said, and to celebrate the tenth anniversary, the city plans to present the conference and attendees with a large birthday cake. Beyond that, this year the city also has recognized STC by draping the conference banner around downtown lamp posts—- the same treatment, Dovenbarger noted, the city has given its currently very hot basketball team the Utah Jazz.

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