Finding a Pot of Gold at the End of the ICSE Rainbow

Rachel Ostrand sits in Republic Foyer offering her services to conference attendees. But Rachel isn't offering a high-tech solution to anyone's problem.

She's nine years old, and she decorates name badges for conference attendees.

Rachel's been attending software conferences with her mother, Elaine Weyuker, since she (Rachel, not Elaine) was five months old.

At ISSRE three years ago, Rachel got tired of the tech talk and decorated her name badge with colored pencil drawings. People noticed her new-and-improved badge and asked her to spiff theirs up, too.

"It's certainly a lot more fun than sitting in the conference rooms and listening to all the boring talks," she says. "It's a good way to use the time and it's fun."

So now she sits at the edge of Republic Foyer, at one of the better-attended tables, scribing flowers, rainbows, and pots of gold onto visitors' badges, and she's got a cardboard box holding a growing pile of donated change in front of her.

No word yet on whether the IRS is wise to her scheme.