SEI Insights


SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) News and Updates

WICSA 2015, the 12th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture, and CompArch 2015, the 9th federated conference series bringing together researchers and practitioners from Component-Based Software Engineering and Quality of Software Architecture, are launching a unified call for workshops for the 2015 co-located event that will be held in Montréal, Canada, May 4-8, 2015. WICSA/CompArch 2015 workshops provide a unique forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest R&D results, experiences, trends, and challenges in the field of software architecture, component-based software engineering, and software system qualities.

In a Huffington Post article titled “What Global Warming, Energy Efficiency and Erlang Have in Common,” Noah Gift says, “Hidden in the discussion of rising energy costs and consumption in datacenters is the selection of software language.” Gift’s emphasis is on how the constraints many languages have limit them to one processor and how the languages used to write software can affect the way that processors use energy. This inefficiency would seem to extend backward from running software to developing software. Nowadays, developers must contend not only with multiple desktop platforms but also with multiple mobile platforms, and do so in multiple languages. This week’s link roundup highlights some tools for simplifying the processes of developing across languages and platforms. Apache Thrift: The Apache Thrift software framework combines a software library with a code-generation engine, and the compiler generates code that can communicate across programming languages, enabling efficient development of scalable backend services. A white paper discusses motivations and design choices.

At SATURN, we hate the idea that a good talk might be rejected because its abstract is unclear or doesn't answer questions that the reviewers might ask. Good talks should not be rejected because the proposal is not absolutely perfect. So last year we introduced an early-acceptance deadline for speaker submissions, and it worked out really well. The quality of presentations was higher than in years past, and we overcame the dreaded Student's Syndrome--everyone waiting until the night before to submit. But this year we asked ourselves, Can we give even more opportunities? Can we make the proposal process even more friendly? For SATURN 2015, we have adopted a rolling-acceptance approach.This means that the review committee is continuously reviewing speaker proposals as they are submitted. When reviewers see a great proposal, it is accepted immediately and added to the technical program. Authors of other proposals get detailed feedback about what the reviewers are thinking and what questions they have, so they can revise and resubmit. No longer will you have to hire a soothsayer to guess what the committee might have been thinking, only to have the feedback too late to do anything about it. We have been accepting speaker proposals since October though the website was lagging a bit. That has been corrected and the full list of speakers accepted is now available.

Second International Workshop on Software Architecture and Metrics Florence, Italy, May 16, 2015 Submission deadline: January 23, 2015 Software engineers of complex software systems face the challenge of how best to assess the achievement of quality attributes and other key drivers, how to reveal issues and risks early, and how to make decisions about architecture and system evolution. There is an increasing need to provide ongoing quantifiable insight into the quality of the system being developed to manage the pace of software delivery and technology churn. Additionally, it is highly desirable to improve feedback between development and deployment through measurable means for intrinsic quality, value, and cost. While there is body of work focusing on code quality and metrics, their applicability at the design and architecture level and at scale are inconsistent and not proven.

For pioneering leadership in the development of innovative curricula in computer science, Dr. Mary Shaw of Carnegie Mellon University received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony in November 2014. The SATURN 2015 program committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Shaw will deliver a keynote presentation at SATURN 2015, which will be held at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, April 27-30.

Minimum Viable Architecture
In his Introduction to Minimum Viable Architecture, Savita Pahuja at InfoQ recalls an older blog by Kavis Technology that described the role of agile methods as serving a balancing function between the minimum viable product and the minimum viable architecture. Below are several recent opinions on this topic and a project that is putting the theory into practice. Less is More with Minimalist Architecture: Ruth Malan and Dana Bredemeyer wrote in the October 2002 issue of IT Professional that you should "sort out your highest-priority architectural requirements, and then do the least you possibly can to achieve them!" Good Enough Is Good Enough: Minimum Viable Architecture in a Startup: In a presentation given at the San Francisco Startup CTO Summit, Randy Shoup encourages startups to ignore the advice he's been giving for a decade on building large-scale systems.