Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

05/15/2015

Rich Program Earns Praise from SATURN 2015 Conference Attendees

May 15, 2015—The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) hosted its eleventh annual SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference this year in Baltimore, Maryland from April 27 through April 30. The conference, which boasted the second-highest attendance in the history of the event, attracted attendees from 21 countries and 119 organizations. Participants shared ideas, insights, and experiences about effective architecture-centric practices for developing and maintaining software-intensive systems.

The conference opened with three one-day SEI courses on big data, technical debt, and DevOps in which 90 attendees participated. The technical program spanned three days and included keynote addresses by Mary Shaw of Carnegie Mellon University, a pioneer in the field of software architecture and recent recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation; Gregor Hohpe, chief IT architect at Allianz; and Mark Schwartz, chief information officer at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a component of the Department of Homeland Security. 

New to this year’s program was an invited speakers series featuring luminaries in the field of software architecture and a series of Architecture Boot Camp sessions designed to provide basic information to beginners, novices, and aspiring software architects. The range of topics addressed at this year’s conference included

  • microservices architecture
  • sustainable support for data variation, schema, and feature evolution
  • architecture-centric design thinking
  • compatibility classification
  • rethinking attribute-driven design
  • the business side of software architecture
  • architecture evaluation
  • cost-benefit analysis in technical debt reduction
  • open-systems architecture
  • quality requirements
  • architecting hybrid cloud solutions

Writing in his blog, Hohpe noted that SATURN 2015 was “… a perfect blend of structured thinking from the academic edge combined with valuable industry experience that would otherwise not make it to an academic conference due to lack of analysis and validation. The blend worked extremely well for me.”

Also notable at this year’s conference, SEI Director and CEO Paul Nielsen announced the Linda Northrop Software Architecture Impact Award, the first of which will be conferred at SATURN 2016 in San Diego, California, May 2-5, 2016. The award is named in honor of SEI Fellow Linda Northrop, founder of the SATURN conference.

Continuing a practice begun in 2010, SATURN organizers presented two awards for outstanding presentations determined by attendee vote. The IEEE Software SATURN Architecture in Practice Presentation Award is given to the presentation that best describes experiences, methods, and lessons learned from the implementation of architecture-centric practices. This year’s award winners were Jochem Schulenklopper and Eelco Rommes of inspearit for their presentation Why They Just Don’t Get It: Communicating Architecture to Business Stakeholders. The second award, the IEEE Software SATURN New Directions Presentation Award, is given to the presentation that best describes innovative new approaches and thought leadership in the application of architecture-centric practices. This year’s award winners were Rebecca Wirfs-Brock of Wirfs-Brock Associates and Joseph Yoder of The Refactory, Inc., for their presentation QA to AQ: Shifting from Quality Assurance to Agile Quality.

Major sponsors of SATURN 2015 were IBM Watson Group, which hosted a Tuesday-evening reception for attendees; GE Software; and Allianz. Google sponsored the SATURN Welcome Reception on Wednesday evening. Other sponsors were Methods and Tools magazine, Runscope, IEEE Software magazine, the Association for Enterprise Information, the Washington, D.C. Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN), and the Baltimore chapter of Women in Technology. 

“This conference was the best technical conference I have ever attended,” said conference attendee William Chaparro, Integration Team manager for the IBM Watson Group’s Watson Explorer. “Thank you for continuing to offer this to the architecture community.”

For more information about SATURN 2015, and to download conference presentations, please visit the SATURN 2015 website.

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