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SATURN 2015 Expands to Three Days, Offers New Options


November 24, 2014 - Organizers of the Software Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference have redesigned the event's technical program for 2015 to accommodate growth, expand opportunities for interaction and education, and offer participants greater flexibility in designing their conference experience. Those attending the conference will enjoy a technical program spanning three full days, sessions of varying length geared to accommodate diverse formats and presentation styles, and 90-minute tutorials included at no extra charge. The SATURN 2015 Conference will take place at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, April 27-30, 2015.

“Participants in SATURN always offer us great feedback,” said the SEI’s Bill Pollak, general chair for SATURN 2015. “Their input is essential for helping us evolve the conference in ways that will improve the SATURN experience. I think the biggest change we’ve made is to move the conference away from an a la carte approach to a more all-inclusive format.”

Pollak explained that in past years, participants paid separate fees to attend the tutorials, and scheduling constraints often meant they could not attend all tutorials they wished. For 2015, however, SATURN tutorials have been scheduled across the entire three-day program, providing participants greater opportunity to attend those of special interest to them.

While the tutorials have been rolled into the SATURN program and fee structure, Pollak noted that participants will need to pay a separate course fee if they attend full-day SEI courses on technical debt, big data, and DevOps that will precede the SATURN conference on April 27.

Other changes have also been made to help SATURN participants get the most out of their time in Baltimore. “We’ve encouraged instructors to design their tutorials to fit a 90-minute format, rather than a half-day format,” said George Fairbanks, conference co-chair and software engineer at Google. “This enables participants to engage in a wider breadth of topics.” Fairbanks also noted that the program committee has also encouraged invited speakers to hold “office hours” during the conference, giving participants the opportunity to tap their expertise one-on-one. “You go to the talk, you get fired up about it, you go to the office hours, ask great questions, and have productive conversations,” said Fairbanks.

Also new this year is a dedicated track—what Fairbanks called “a software architecture boot camp”—for participants who are new to the topic of software architecture. The boot camp will be taught by many of the SEI’s experts, and content for these sessions has been adapted from SEI training courses. “It’s a way to drop in and hone particular skills, decode certain terminology, and prepare for the rest of the conference,” said Fairbanks.

To further help participants customize a SATURN experience that best meets their needs, and to allow presenters to dedicate just the right amount of time to their topics, the conference’s experience-report sessions have changed. In these reports, the presenter shares a software architecture story or case study that offers a practical lesson or insight for the audience. “We now have three experience report session types,” said Michael Keeling, SATURN co-chair and software engineer for IBM’s Watson Group. “Experience reports can now be 15, 30, or 45 minutes. They’re no longer locked in to 45 minutes. This flexibility allows the presenter to take just as much time as he or she needs, enabling everyone to spend their time more effectively.”

Conducted annually since 2004, SATURN attracts an international audience of practicing software architects, industry thought leaders, developers, technical managers, and researchers to share ideas, insights, and experience about effective architecture-centric practices for developing and maintaining software-intensive systems.  

Submissions for the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference 2015 technical program are now being accepted. Please submit proposals for presentations of 15, 30, and/or 90 minutes to the online submission system no later than January 16, 2015.

Submitters who are accepted to give 90-minute presentations will receive free conference registration and one free night in the conference hotel. Those accepted to give 15- and 30-minute presentations will receive 60% off the full conference-registration fee. This compensation applies to one speaker in a multiple-author talk.

For more information about SATURN 2015, please visit