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Why Should You Attend SATURN 2016?

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With the emergence of an increasing number of conferences and professional-development opportunities in the field of software architecture, how is SATURN unique? Why should a software engineer choose to attend SATURN 2016?

SATURN is an annual gathering of software developers, architects, and thought leaders. At SATURN 2015 last April, 80% of the attendees had 10 or more years of experience and 56% were in leadership positions in their organizations. They gather to share experiences and ideas.

The relative experience of the SATURN community makes it uniquely qualified to evaluate the efficacy and practical utility of technology trends such as service-oriented architecture (SOA), microservices, and Internet of Things in a balanced way, avoiding reflexive promotion or advocacy.

"SATURN is about keeping the tribal history of software architecture and disseminating the fundamentals beyond current skills needed," says Len Bass, formerly of the SEI and of National Information and Communications Technology Australia (NICTA). "You will always want to know about the latest tools and the hottest methods, but more importantly, you will want to understand how to recognize the underlying concepts the next time a tool or method climbs the technology hype-cycle curve."

Such architectural knowledge building at SATURN provides learning and networking opportunities that have lasting value, greater than simply becoming familiar with the latest hot technical buzzwords.

The large number of experienced and technically savvy attendees at SATURN also affords junior developers or aspiring software architects the opportunity to network and learn from those with more experience, gain a solid understanding of techniques and methods that have been validated and proven to be effective, and find solutions to problems that others have solved in similar contexts. Knowledge sharing at SATURN happens through participatory sessions, tutorials, and open office hours with the creators of foundational techniques and methods.

SATURN has also evolved to be a conference where experience and research come together to forge new solutions to pressing problems, as a forum for articulating and exploring new ideas and leading-edge thinking. For example,

  • While software architecture training is now common in many global organizations, early adopters at SATURN began taking seminal software architecture courses from the SEI and others and sharing ideas, curricula, and experiences about developing software architectures in their own organizations.
  • Long before the coexistence of agile and architecture practices became a frequent topic of discussion in other technical venues, SATURN attendees were sharing their experiences and techniques for achieving agility at scale.

"We want SATURN to be thought of as the birthplace of new ideas and innovations in architecture-design practice," says Amine Chigani of GE Digital, a technical co-chair of SATURN 2016. If you are doing something new and interesting that you have successfully applied in a practical setting and that seems promising--even if it hasn't been proven yet--we want to hear about it.

Here are some examples of talks at SATURN conferences during the past few years that exemplify SATURN's balance of proven experience and new ideas that propel the discipline forward:

Proven experience:

New ideas:

DEV@SATURN

The DEV@SATURN (Design, Engineering, Vision) talks that we have added to the SATURN technical program this year are intended to reinforce the vision of SATURN as a forum for sharing experience-based insights and articulating new ideas and innovations. Patterned after the popular TED series of talks, DEV@SATURN talks will be short, concentrated bursts of experience, wisdom, and inspiration.

We seek talks that are

  • Visionary - They open a window that reveals or makes visible the future of software design or report on a breakthrough to a new idea or new solution to what had been an intractable problem.
  • Passionate - They are delivered by a speaker with a passionate commitment and need to share a paradigm-changing idea or insight.
  • Concrete - They tell specific stories about something that the speaker has done, such as an idea or lesson realized in the course of a project, a big problem and why it is important, a report of a personal journey that led to an insight or breakthrough, or something that everyone thought was impossible until the speaker discovered otherwise.

Please consider submitting a proposal for a DEV@SATURN or a longer talk, and if you have never attended SATURN before, please join our growing community and attend SATURN 2016.

About the Author

Bill Pollak

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