This week I have in my to-do list writing a blog post about the SATURN 2010 program as the technical chair. You have the benefit of the program laid out for you at the SATURN conference page, far better than I can do here. So instead, I will reflect on the process of putting together the program for SATURN from my perspective and why I am excited about it.
I am a recurring conference enthusiast. I strive to both present my work in applicable venues and attend conferences whenever I can just to learn and network. It is the excitement of collectively mulling new, old but still around, and even bad ideas that keeps me going back to conferences. Sometimes the whole experience gives me an AHA! moment. I open an old manuscript that I may have been stuck on, or bring up a work that I have been procrastinating about, or start a deck of new ideas, way before returning back: at the hotel room, at the airport, on the plane. It is this reflection and interaction opportunity that is sparked by conferences that is so appealing for me. It is something you do not get from just reading a good book, listening to an excellent webinar, or reading a good blog post. It is the combination of it all. And I know this does not describe only me. Anyone who is passionate enough about the work they do seeks these moments of inspiration in all sorts of different ways.
It is with this spirit that we work hard on the SATURN technical program: to be able to give attendees an opportunity to learn, reflect, criticize, collaborate, and feed the fire for the passion for what they do.
We aim to provide a good balance of opportunities to hear from thought leaders in our area, present our own work from the SEI, and hear from the experiences of those who are in the trenches. We provide extended learning opportunities that I know several attendees take advantage of for career advancement or changes. Tutorials and SEI courses serve this purpose well.
In line with our theme of Architecting for Change, the program this year focuses on both changing trends and managing change.
The interest in better bringing agile development and software architecture together has been increasing. Jim Highsmith will deliver our May 19 keynote, addressing this topic from the perspective of architects and organizational agility. I highly recommend giving the March/April 2010 issue of IEEE Software a read if you are interested in this area. The issue has a special section on agility and architecture, with four interesting articles and a thought-provoking editorial introduction.
Smart Grid, the name given in many countries to efforts to modernize the electricity-delivery system, has been at the center of the economic, strategic, environmental, and global shift to better energy use and emerging new market segments. Wayne Longcore, the director of enterprise architecture & standards and chief architect for Consumers Energy, will deliver our May 20 keynote to shed light on the developments in this area from the perspective of architecture.
The SEI is presenting SATURN 2010 in collaboration with IEEE Software, which will be represented by the attendance of IEEE Software advisory board members Philippe Kruchten, Linda Rising, and board chair Frances Paulish. Kruchten and Rising will both give talks and present tutorials.
The practice of architecture at the software, system, and system-of-systems levels has been maturing. An outcome of this maturation is the increasing number of programs in organizations providing certified architect career ladders. International Association of Software Architects (IASA) also recently launched an independent IT Architect Certification program. We will have a panel discussion on architecture training and certifications where leaders from Raytheon, Siemens, IASA, Boeing, and the SEI will discuss their experiences and lessons learned.
We have also allocated time for informal birds-of-a-feather sessions where we can have at-the-moment gatherings to continue and start new discussions. And finally, we are located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, connected to many cultural and shopping attractions. After our receptions, we will all enjoy the benefits of great restaurants and mild spring weather of Minneapolis to continue sharing.
I am looking forward to learning from all who will be there, sharing what we have learned since last time we spoke, meeting old friends, and making new ones. Let us know if you have any ideas for how we can improve and make this a worthwhile experience for you all.
Ipek Ozkaya – SEI