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SATURN Blog

SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) News and Updates

As the pace of software delivery increases, organizations need guidance on how to deliver high-quality software rapidly, while simultaneously meeting demands related to time to market, cost, productivity, and quality. In practice, demands for adding new features or fixing defects often take priority. However, when software developers are guided solely by project-management measures, such as progress on requirements and defect counts, they ignore the impact of architectural dependencies, which can impede the progress of a project if not properly managed. This blog post at the SEI blog by Rod Nord and Ipek Ozkaya of the SEI describes a first step toward an approach they developed that aims to use qualitative architectural measures to better inform quantitative code-quality metrics.

7 Secret Proposal-Writing Tips that Make Conference Program Committees go Wild!

Writing a great session proposal for a practitioners’ conference can be difficult, even for experienced public speakers and authors. Proposal writing is a distinct skill, different from writing great papers and giving amazing presentations. Since your session proposal is what the reviewers will use to decide whether your session might be a good fit for the SATURN 2014 technical program, it’s also an important skill. With the final submission deadline for SATURN 2014 quickly approaching on January 17, 2014, here are 7 tips for writing a great submission proposal.

Jeromy Carriere of Google, member of the SATURN 2014 Program Committee and previously featured speaker at SATURN, dug through presentations from previous years at SATURN and put together a list of some he found valuable:

Invited talk: Games Software Architects Play (Phillippe Kruchten) "The life of a software architect is a long (and sometimes painful) succession of suboptimal decisions made partially in the dark." Phillippe takes us on a tour of some of the ways that we make bad decisions: cognitive biases, reasoning fallacies, political games. Sadly, each example resonates with me, and not just because I've seen them in other people. Architects have to rely on intuition, but we also need to know when and how it fails us.

Architecture Practices for Agile at Scale: Strategically Managing Technical Debt to Improve System Quality

The Cyber Security and Information Systems Information Analysis Center (CSIAC) invites you to attend this webinar. This event requires registration. Presenter: Robert L. Nord Date and Time: Wednesday, December 11th, 2013; 12-1 pm EDT Registration Required Practices designed to expedite system delivery, such as prototyping or agile development, can paradoxically lead to unexpected rework costs that ultimately slow down later deliverables and degrade value over time, especially as the scale of the system grows. The term "technical debt" describes an aspect of this tradeoff between short-term and long-term value in the software development cycle.

Thanks to the great community participation we had at SATURN 2013 in Minneapolis this year, we are able to keep SATURN affordable in 2014. As in 2013, we will have three registration periods for SATURN, priced as follows:

  • Super-early-bird (early February through mid-March): $750
  • Early-bird (mid-March through early April): $850
  • Regular: $1100

One of our goals every year with SATURN is to create a solid technical program that is informative, engaging, and lasting. When evaluating proposals for the program, the review committee uses the following guidelines to help decide whether a proposal is a good match for this year’s conference. In these guidelines, the term “session” is used generically to describe any talks, workshops, tutorials, and so on in the conference program.

Experience reports and case studies are some of the most effective learning tools available to professional software engineers today. For decades, software engineers have improved the state of practice by sharing stories of their harrowing adventures and triumphant successes. Taking the time to share lessons from our past experiences not only helps us to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past but also spreads the most effective practices widely. This is why SATURN has included experience reports in the main conference program since the start.

While hearing about others’ experiences is important, there is only so much that you can learn by listening to others talk about what they did and what they learned. Learning from experiences of your own is an essential part of growing as a professional software engineer. This is especially true for software architecture, an area that requires a broad understanding of theory and practice.