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SATURN 2013 Conference Draws Record Attendance


June 14, 2013—The Software Engineering Institute (SEI), in collaboration with IEEE Software magazine, hosted its ninth annual SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 29 through May 3. With keynote addresses, panels, technical presentations, and interactive sessions, the conference program for SATURN 2013 explored themes including

  • experiences and insights designing and developing front- and back-end architectures
  • lessons learned from successes and failures with integration
  • application of methods and tools 
  • technical leadership

This year's SATURN Conference attracted a record 209 attendees representing 20 countries and 117 organizations.

"We are gratified by the support we received from the worldwide community of software-architecture practitioners," says Bill Pollak, SATURN 2013 general chair. "SATURN's growth demonstrates to us that we are meeting the need of practicing software architects to share knowledge and experience and explore solutions to their common problems."

The SATURN 2013 program included a keynote address from Stephan Murer, a managing director at Credit Suisse, who examined the company's 15 years of experience with service-oriented architecture. Also keynoting was Scott Berkun, who has worked for Microsoft and WordPress and who is the best-selling author of Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management, The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds. Berkun shared insights into management and software development that he learned from the radically different working environment of Other keynotes and plenary talks were delivered by Mary Poppendieck, author of the award-winning book Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit and Philippe Kruchten, a software architect of 35 years and professor of software engineering at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver. 

The program also included 32 technical presentations scheduled into three concurrent sessions on these topics:

  • Sustainability and Security
  • Modeling and Documentation
  • Cloud Computing
  • Method Tailoring and Extensibility
  • Web and Cloud Architecture Design
  • Fusion Methods
  • Mobile Computing
  • Architectural Evaluation
  • Governance and Education

For the first time in 2013, SATURN also included three concurrent interactive sessions—lightning talks, open-space hosted table discussions, and a facilitated birds-of-a-feather session. All sessions were enthusiastically received by attendees. 

A full schedule of 10 tutorials was well attended, with most tutorials attracting 20 or more attendees. 36 attendees took the SEI courses offered at the conference, Software Architecture Design and Analysis and Advanced Topics in Service Oriented Architecture.

"We're grateful to the IEEE," said Pollak, "which brought strong visibility to the conference through IEEE Software and IEEE Computer magazines." Pollak also extended the conference committee's gratitude to the Graduate Programs in Software at University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, for sponsoring the event.

Continuing a practice that began in 2010, SATURN 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 winner was Simon Brown of Coding the Architecture for his presentation titled The Conflict Between Agile and Architecture: Myth or Reality. 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 winner was Darryl Nelson of Raytheon for his presentation titled Next-Gen Web Architecture for the Cloud Era.