search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Educators Gather at SEI for 11th Annual ACE Workshop


August 25, 2014—Software engineering educators gathered from August 4-6, 2014 at the SEI's Pittsburgh headquarters for the 11th annual Architecture-Centric Engineering (ACE) Workshop for Educators. The SEI hosts this event to foster an ongoing exchange of ideas among educators whose curricula include the subjects of software architecture and software product lines. This year the SEI course Advanced Software Architecture Workshop anchored the program. 

The SEI's Felix Bachmann taught the Advanced Software Architecture Workshop, which spanned the first two days. The SEI designed this course to help organizations streamline the adoption of architecture-centric practices. Using an actual architecture as an example, participants select a problematic scenario for the system, examine the possible weak points of the software architecture, decide on appropriate mitigations, review their proposed changes in groups, and revise the architecture as required. 

"The course portion [of the ACE Workshop] will allow me to completely rethink how I teach both my undergraduate and graduate software architecture courses," said participant Roger Champagne, associate professor in the Department of Software and IT Engineering at École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal, Quebec. 

"I loved the opportunity of taking a two-day advanced software architecture workshop," said Jungwoo Ryoo, associate professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. "It definitely enhanced my knowledge of software architecture."

The third day of ACE was devoted to invited talks and discussion. The SEI's Ian Gorton presented his insights on software architecture for big data systems. Bachmann discussed designing architectures using Unified Modeling Language tools. Following the invited talks, participants devoted the rest of the session to exchanging and discussing their pedagogical insights and artifacts. The SEI's Grace Lewis and Rick Kazman served as facilitators.

"The special topics sessions by Ian [Gorton] and Felix [Bachmann] gave me precious insights into current topics," said Champagne. "The shared artifacts sessions were also most interesting…. I got valuable insights on side subjects not central in in the workshop, namely undergraduate program accreditation issues and their impact on course design."

By conducting these annual ACE workshops, the SEI is helping educators in the field of software architecture improve its pedagogy and, consequently, improve the understanding of software architecture concepts among the hundreds of students they instruct. The SEI believes this understanding will help future software engineering professionals as they enter a technological environment of ever-increasing scale and complexity.

For more information about the SEI's work in software architecture, please visit

For more information about the SEI's ACE Workshops, please visit