GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Rapids hosted the sixth annual Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference Monday for nearly 200 software developers, designers, engineers, strategists, students, and teachers to help strengthen ties between organizations in the technology sector and celebrate high tech job growth.

“We had the largest turnout in conference history, and that’s indicative of Michigan’s emerging status as a leader for high tech job growth,” said Conference Chair Paul Jorgensen, who is also a professor at Grand Valley State University.

Dorothy Graham, GLSEC’s keynote speaker, shared her experiences from working more than 40 years in the high tech industry.  She is a global leader in software testing, currently working as an independent software consultant.

Over lunch, West Michigan’s leading business incubator, GR Current, led a lively discussion about the software industry’s impact on West Michigan’s economy. GVSU economist Paul Isley also spoke about how the industry’s job demand is greater than the supply in the region.

West Michigan was not the only region represented. The conference also featured attendees, speakers, and sponsors from Wisconsin, Illinois, Ann Arbor and Detroit. More than 20 different companies presented at GLSEC, including Microsoft, GE, and Spectrum Health.

Jorgensen said that he was encouraged by the variety of individuals and companies that came together to share information.

“We’ll all benefit from the connections made between companies and developers and designers and organizers and community leaders at GLSEC,” Jorgensen said.  “These connections will have a major positive impact on the quality life in West Michigan.”

For more information on GLSEC, visit


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