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SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) News and Updates

The deadline for submitting presentation proposals for SATURN 2019 is approaching quickly!

As you probably know already, SATURN is a great opportunity to share and discover new advances around software architecture in industry. If you are new to the conference, it provides a great opportunity to get exposure for your work. If you are a repeat attendee, it is an excellent opportunity to give updates and receive feedback on work that was presented previously or to present new contributions.

This year, we have three primary tracks:

  1. Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  2. Microservice, Event-Driven, and Serverless Architectures; Containerization; and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  3. Other Design and Development Techniques, Patterns, and Solutions

Submitting a presentation proposal is pretty simple. You only need to decide the type of presentation (a 30- or 45-minute experience report or technical talk, a 90-minute tutorial, or a 15-minute TED-style presentation) and provide

  • a title for your presentation
  • an elevator pitch
  • a description (200 words maximum)
  • your bio and links to any previous engagements

Our review process is interactive: you will get feedback from the reviewers, and you can iterate and improve your proposal before we make a decision.

We want to renew our invitation to submit a presentation proposal to the conference through the PaperCall system (https://www.papercall.io/saturn-2019). The submission deadline is January 11, 2019.

We look forward to receiving your presentation proposal, and we hope to see you next year in Pittsburgh to celebrate the 15th edition of SATURN!

Best,

John Klein and Humberto Cervantes

SATURN 2019 Technical Co-chairs

The 14th SATURN Conference was held in Plano, Texas, on May 7-10, 2018, with attendees representing 74 organizations and 17 countries. This subset of the SATURN Community shared their ideas, insights, and experiences about effective software architecture practices for developing and maintaining software-intensive systems while also having some fun at the SATURN Celebration reception with armadillo racing and a game of giant cornhole (because everything is bigger in Texas).

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The conference began with three one-day SEI courses: Cloud Computing: An Architecture-Centric View, by John Klein; Essential Microservice Architecture, by Paulo Merson; and Launching and Sustaining Agile Architecture, by Ipek Ozkaya. The technical program spanned three days and included keynote addresses by Rebecca Parsons, CTO of ThoughtWorks on The Whys and Hows of Evolutionary Architecture; Ricardo Valerdi, professor at the University of Arizona on Virtual Reality for Concussion Education; and Michael Nygard, Cognitect, Inc., on Uncoupling.

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The program featured more than 40 peer-reviewed talks that explored a wide range of topics relevant to practicing architects. There were also sessions from a stellar set of invited speakers, including Chris Richardson, Eventuate, Inc.; James Lewis, ThoughtWorks; Aroop Pandya, IBM Watson; Vaughn Vernon, For Comprehension, Inc.; and independent consultant Daniel Bryant. The Software Architecture Boot Camp sessions presented by SEI staff members were again very popular and offered an introduction or refresher to attendees on basic architecture topics.

word cloud.pngThe Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award, also presented at SATURN 2018, went to Eoin Woods of Endava, who gave a talk on "Software Architecture as Systems Dissolve."

Linda-Eoin.jpgSATURN attendees voted for the best presentation based on three criteria: innovation, usefulness of the material, and quality of presentation. The SATURN Best Presentation Award was given to Eltjo Poort of CGI and Michael Keeling of IBM Watson for their presentation "The Ethical Software Architect." The runner-up award went to Eltjo Poort for his presentation "Shorten Your Architectural Feedback Loop." The awards were announced at the end of the conference. Congratulations to all!

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Eltjo's thoughts on SATURN 2018 are captured on his blog. Be sure to check out the slide presentations and videos from SATURN 2018. We look forward to seeing you all next year when SATURN 2019 will be held in Pittsburgh, PA, on May 6-9, 2019.

SATURN_2019_Save_the_Date_Postcard_3_front.jpgJohn Klein and Paulo Merson
SATURN 2018 Technical Co-Chairs

As the technical co-chairs for SATURN 2018, we're looking forward to welcoming you to the conference in a few weeks' time, and we're excited about the practical, forward-looking program that the program committee has assembled for the conference. We're sure you're going to find the sessions on the program relevant, engaging, and full of information to take back to work after the conference.

First, we have three terrific keynote talks to look forward to. Rebecca Parsons, chief technology officer at ThoughtWorks, will be speaking about the whys and hows of evolutionary architecture. In particular, she will focus on the central role of fitness functions in driving the architecture in the desired direction and how techniques such as refactoring databases and continuous delivery support architectural evolution. Ricardo Valerdi, associate professor at the University of Arizona and a director of the Sports Management Program there will tell us about the use of virtual reality for football concussion education. And Michael Nygard of Cognitect, Inc. will share his thoughts on the concept of "Uncoupling." Additionally, we will have a talk from Eoin Woods, the recipient of this year's Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award.

We also have an excellent group of invited speakers. Vaughn Vernon will present Reactive DDD: Modeling Uncertainty and discuss how the uncertainty introduced by distributed computing can be finessed into highly functioning, business-centric systems that teams can design, develop, and reason about. Daniel Bryant will talk about continuous delivery with containers. James Lewis of ThoughtWorks will present Betting on Evolutionary Architecture: A Note on Software Architecture as Code. Aroop Pandya of IBM Watson will discuss Watson Cognitive Services and Cloud Platform Architecture. And Chris Richardson of Eventuate, a keynote speaker at SATURN in 2017, will present Managing Data Consistency in a Microservice Architecture Using Sagas.

Beyond the keynotes and invited speakers, we have more than 40 peer-reviewed talks, plus training courses and our popular Software Architecture Boot Camp sessions. These conference sessions explore a wide range of topics relevant to practicing architects, including DevOps, blockchain, REST, machine learning, continuous delivery, technical debt, agility and architecture, cloud computing, refactoring, microservices, data privacy, and a provocative panel discussion titled, "Death of the Architect." All of the sessions have been carefully evaluated by our program committee and will provide practical, timely information to take back to work and apply immediately on your projects and across your organization.

In addition to a strong program, we're planning some great ways to meet and get to know your fellow attendees. There will be a welcome reception on Monday afternoon and our SATURN Celebration reception on Tuesday evening that features armadillo races and a giant Texas-sized game of corn hole.

We're looking forward to being part of this terrific event and of course gathering with our peer group of leading architecture practitioners in Texas in May. We hope you can join us!

SATURN 2018 will be in Plano, Texas, near Dallas, at the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park hotel, May 7-10. Register now!

John Klein and Paulo Merson
SATURN 2018 Technical Co-Chairs

TechDebt 2018

The inaugural edition of the International Conference on Technical Debt in conjunction with International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2018

MAY 27-28, 2018 | Gothenburg, Sweden

techdebtconf.org

THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON TECHNICAL DEBT will bring together leading software researchers, practitioners, and tool vendors to explore theoretical and practical approaches that manage technical debt.

Technical debt describes a universal software development phenomenon: design or implementation constructs that are expedient in the short term, but set up a technical context that can make future change more costly or impossible. Developers and managers use the concept to communicate key tradeoffs related to release and quality issues.

Interest and engagement from the software engineering community has steadily grown. A working conference has become essential.

We invite submissions for research, industry, and position and future-trend papers on all topics relevant to technical debt, such as

  • identification, visualization, and analysis
  • metrics and economic models for measuring and reasoning about technical debt
  • technical debt in code, designs and architecture, and development infrastructure
  • relationship to software lifecycle activities
  • concrete practices and tools

Important Dates

  • January 15--Abstract
  • January 22--Full paper
  • March 1--Notification
  • March 15--Camera ready

For more information about submitting a paper, see the Call for Papers.

Longtime SATURN participant Eltjo Poort has posted a summary of SATURN 2017 on his blog. Eltjo was the winner of the inaugural Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award in 2016.

"This was my fifth SATURN conference," writes Poort, "and just like the previous years I returned home full of new ideas and inspiration, and with many useful new contacts. I am already looking forward to the 2018 edition in Plano, TX."

Read the whole thing.

Since 2010, the SEI and IEEE have been conferring two attendee-selected awards at SATURN. 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 software architecture practices. This year's award winner was Sebastian von Conrad of Envato for his presentation titled An In-Depth Look at Event Sourcing with Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS). See presentation slides in PDF here.

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 software architecture practices. This year's award winner was George Fairbanks of Google for his presentation titled Functional Programming Invades Architecture. See presentation slides in PDF here.

In addition to reflecting the high regard of SATURN attendees, these awards also contribute to the maturation of the practice of software architecture by recognizing sound and innovative practices.

As the technical co-chairs for SATURN 2017, we're looking forward to welcoming you to the conference in a few weeks' time, and we're excited about the practical, forward-looking program that the hard-working program committee has assembled for the conference. We had many good sessions proposed and unfortunately had room for only a fraction of the submissions in the final program. However, we're sure you're going to find the sessions on the program relevant, engaging, and full of information to take back to work after the conference.

First, we have three terrific keynote talks to look forward to. Kevlin Henney will be speaking about the importance of detail in software development as he talks about Software is Details. Chris Richardson will talk about microservices as an architectural style as he tells us that There is No Such Thing as a Microservice!, while Jeromy Carriere will be exploring speed in software development in his talk, Velocity in Software Development: Why do Companies Slow Down and What Can We Do About It? Additionally, we're thrilled to have a talk from Ruth Malan, the recipient of this year's Linda Northrop Software Architecture Award.

We also have an excellent group of invited speakers. Kurt Stam will be talking about continuous deployment of microservices to be run on Docker and Kubernetes. Joe Yoder will talk about delivering fast with confidence while keeping your architecture clean. DDD expert Paul Rayner will tell us about EventStorming and how it can be used to map out an event-based story of how a software system behaves.

Beyond the keynotes and invited speakers, we have more than 50 peer-reviewed talks, plus training courses and the ever-popular Software Architecture Boot Camp sessions presented by SEI staff members.

These conference sessions explore a wide range of topics relevant to practicing architects, including DevOps, microservices, containers, serverless architectures, legacy systems, agility and architecture, cloud computing, continuous delivery, refactoring, technical debt, architecture evaluation, and technical leadership. All of the sessions have been carefully evaluated by our program committee and will provide practical, timely information to take back to work and apply immediately on your projects and across your organization.

We're very excited about the quality of the SATURN 2017 program, and we'd like to thank our program committee for their careful evaluation of the submissions and also to thank those who submitted session proposals, whether they were accepted for the final program or not.

We're looking forward to being part of this terrific event and of course gathering with our peer group of leading architecture practitioners in Colorado in May. We hope you can join us!

Jørn Ølmheim, Paulo Merson, and Eoin Woods
SATURN 2017 Technical Co-Chairs

You submitted a proposal to SATURN 2017, and it got accepted. Congratulations! When conference participants step into the room to attend your talk, they will come with the highest of expectations--after all, they chose your talk over the others happening in parallel. The people who click on the YouTube video of your talk in the future will also have high expectations. So we want to help you deliver a great talk.

Not everybody was born a great speaker, but those who weren't can easily apply a few tips that will get them closer to a (conference) rock-star performance. Here are 15 tips for creating and giving a great presentation at SATURN:

Preparation

  1. Provide value. Prepare a presentation that will allow attendees to successfully apply your ideas and experiences to their organizations.
  2. Avoid bloated slides. Audiences like illustrated slides better than text-heavy slides. Bulleted points should be no longer than two lines. Break long sentences into two bullets. If a slide has more than 5 or 6 bullets, consider splitting it into two slides.
  3. Enhance your presentation. Sensibly use pictures, graphs, tables, videos, callouts, animations, diagrams, and quotes to make your presentation more interesting. Imagery will improve attendees' retention and enjoyment.
  4. Create readable slides. A common complaint from SATURN evaluation forms is that slides were not readable, especially text in diagrams. For a simple way to check that all text is readable, print your presentation in 2 slides-per-page format. If you can easily read the printouts, the slides should be readable when projected.
  5. Manage time. Participants have also complained that presenters didn't cover all their slides or rushed through the final slides. If your session allows interaction throughout, be careful to cut short lengthy discussions. And above all, follow the tip below.
  6. Rehearse. The secret to a great presentation is practice, practice, practice. Rehearse your presentation at least a few times to train yourself on the flow of ideas. If you practice in front of the mirror, you can see what you look like when talking. You can also present to colleagues and get their feedback before heading to the conference. Don't forget to time yourself when rehearsing, and fine-tune the amount of material you can cover.

Delivery

  1. Be natural. Your audience will be made up of your peers, and they will help you do a great job. Relax and be yourself, as in a conversation by the water cooler. Do not switch to "presentation mode" and speak in a monotonic way like the Terminator (it's ok to dress up and look cool like him, though).
  2. Be engaging. It's your job to keep everyone awake and engaged, and that's not easy, especially after lunch. Be dynamic and energetic. Show that you're passionate about the topic. To establish a rapport with the audience, tell a relevant story or simply smile. Avoid reading notes or your slides. Make eye contact to random people in the room.
  3. In 1 minute, give attendees a reason to stay for the next 30 minutes. Often people are not sure that they have chosen the right session. The first minute of your talk will help them decide, and you don't want to see them sneaking out to the talk next door. State your goals up front. Tell attendees what they will learn. You should also have an initial slide, a quotation, or a story that grabs their attention.
  4. Pace yourself. Some people naturally talk fast; others talk fast when nervous. At a conference, especially one with an international audience like SATURN's, you should speak just fast enough to cover all the content, and slow enough to be understood by all. Be sure to enunciate and speak clearly.
  5. Avoid filler words. Um, well, if you have, like, a pre-teen and a teenager at home like I do, then you're kinda familiar with, like, filler words, sounds, and whatever. Filler words make your communication less effective. You only have so many minutes to cover the slides, so train yourself to avoid them. Instead of filler words, you can ... pause.
  6. Pause. At specific points in your presentation, be silent for a few seconds. Pause right after you make an important remark to let people absorb it or right before making an important point to emphasize it. You can also combine the pause with the next tip.
  7. Modulate your voice. Use inflection and vary the pitch of your voice to avoid a monotonic, boring speech. Throughout your presentation you should speak loudly enough to be heard by everybody in the room. You can lower your voice for emphasis--if you whisper a sentence on the microphone, your audience will listen attentively, but you should do it sparingly.
  8. Look at the audience. Presenters often turn to the screen to look at the slides. Some keep on talking to the screen. Do not turn sideways or turn your back to the audience. If you need to look at the slide, look at the laptop screen on the podium or table in front of you. You may need to turn to the screen to use a laser pointer, but do it sparingly. People who like the pointer sometimes unintentionally overuse it by pointing it at every sentence and every figure on the slides.
  9. Move purposefully. Standing still behind the podium for your entire presentation is not ideal. Move closer to the audience, for example, to tell a story or answer a question. Move toward the screen to emphasize the importance of the information on the slide. But don't meander around the stage as if you were thinking about why the sky is blue. Also avoid pacing from side to side--some people do that when nervous, and it is distracting. Mind your posture: stand balanced when you aren't moving, without rocking back and forth, and keep your hands naturally at your sides or use them in meaningful ways in your communication.