Author Archives: billpollak

Podcast: Amazing Architectures Don’t Happen by Accident

At the Architectural Concepts Podcast, SATURN 2014 Technical Chair Michael Keeling discusses techniques for exploring and uncovering the shortest path to amazing architectures, mapping the idea of design modes to software architecture.

In the podcast, Michael also discusses the rapid software architecture workshop, based on these ideas, that he delivered at SATURN 2014.

Listen now.

SEI to Host 11th ACE Educators Workshop

June 12, 2014—From August 4–6, 2014, educators from leading institutions will gather at the SEI’s Pittsburgh headquarters for the 11th annual Architecture-Centric Engineering (ACE) Workshop for Educators. The SEI hosts this annual event to foster an ongoing exchange of ideas among educators whose curricula include the subjects of software architecture and software product lines. The event is free of charge and open to any accredited, college-level educator.

Continue reading

Architecture Analysis Using AADL: A Beginner’s Perspective

Introducing new software languages, tools, and methods in industrial and production environments incurs a number of challenges. Among other necessary changes, practices must be updated, and engineers must learn new methods and tools. These updates incur additional costs, so transitioning to a new technology must be carefully evaluated and discussed. Also, the impact and associated costs for introducing a new technology vary significantly by type of project, team size, engineers’ backgrounds, and other factors, so that it is hard to estimate the real acquisition costs.

This blog post at the SEI blog presents research conducted independently of the SEI that aims to evaluate the safety concerns of several unmanned aerial vehiclesystems using the Architecture Analysis and Design Language (AADL) and the SEI safety-analysis tools implemented in OSATE.

Impressions of SATURN 2014

“SATURN has become my favorite annual professional event,” says Eltjo Poort at Eltjo’s Solution Architect Blog. Read Eltjo’s review of SATURN 2014.

Wide-Ranging SATURN 2014 Conference Draws Near-Record Attendance

Summary of the SATURN 2014 conference published on the SEI website.

Scott Hanselman Interviews Len Bass at SATURN 2014

Portland, Oregon native and well-known writer and blogger Scott Hanselman spoke at SATURN 2014 this year (“JaveScript, the Cloud, and the New Virtual Machine”) and, while there, he interviewed Len Bass for The Hanselminutes Podcast: Fresh Air for Developers. Len is a senior principal researcher at NICTA in Australia. During his long and distinguished career at the SEI, Len was co-author many seminal publications in the field of software architecture including Software Architecture in Practice.

In the podcast, Stories of Computer Science Past and Present with Len Bass, Len shares stories from his 40+ year career in software.

Sixth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt

Sixth International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt
Co-located with 30th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME 2014)
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
September 30, 2014
http://www.sei.cmu.edu/community/td2014/

Technical debt is a metaphor that software developers and managers increasingly use to communicate key tradeoffs related to release and quality issues. The Managing Technical Debt workshop series has, since 2010, brought together practitioners and researchers to discuss and define issues related to technical debt and how they can be studied. Workshop participants reiterate the usefulness of the metaphor each year, share emerging practices used in software development organizations, and emphasize the need for more research and better means for sharing emerging practices and results.

Continue reading

SATURN 2014 Team Collaboration Session (notes)

Notes by Ziyad Alsaeed, edited by Tamara Marshall-Keim

Transparency: An Architecture Principle for Socio-Technical Ecosystems
Felix Bachmann and Linda Northrop, Software Engineering Institute

Felix and Linda shared their experience as a team in the XSEDE project. They presented compelling evidence of the need to have transparent architecture and architectural practices in socio-technical ecosystems like XSEDE. XSEDE is a virtual, high-performance computer system that allows interactivity for scientists (e.g., biologists, mechanical engineers, environmentalists) all over the world to run their experiments. Experiments are usually of the types that need super-powerful computing capabilities. The system is distributed over a wide distance, and engineers or developers have different global and local priorities. Due to the size of the project and the high complexity, architectural guidance was necessary to ensure the success of the project. Felix’s and Linda’s team responsibilities are to help the team make the right architectural decisions, coach the team on how to incorporate architectural practices, and research missions.

Continue reading

SATURN 2014 Promoting Quality Attributes: Lessons Learned from the Trenches Session (notes)

Notes by Ziyad Alsaeed, edited by Tamara Marshall-Keim

Can You Hear Me Now? The Art of Applying Communication Protocols When Architecting Real-Time Control Systems
Todd Farley, BAE Systems, Inc.

BAE Systems deals with architecting real-time control systems. These systems are usually complicated and distributed. Also, the lifetimes of projects are usually very long. So BAE must always answer this question: Which process should they adapt? The problems they face tend to fall into three categories:

  • motion control systems (~robots)
  • computation-intensive algorithms
  • user interfaces

Continue reading

SATURN 2014 Art and Science of Scalability Session (notes)

Notes by Ziyad Alsaeed, edited by Tamara Marshall-Keim

BI/Big Data Reference Architectures and Case Studies
Serhiy Haziyev and Olha Hrytsay, SoftServe, Inc.

Serhiy and Olha shared their experience with the tradeoff between modern and traditional (non-relational and relational) reference architectures. They looked into the challenges associated with each approach and gave tips from real-life case studies on how to deal with big data reference architecture. As a reminder, they visited some of the known big data challenges:

  • Data is generated from many and different sources.
  • As data grows, it becomes complicated and heterogeneous (velocity and volume) until it’s no longer manageable.

Continue reading