Author Archives: billpollak

Link Roundup, 1-5-15: Refactoring

Refactoring

In December 2014, Andre Infante of CoinReport wrote about a Bitcoin developer’s warning that the rapid development of Bitcoin software may be “introducing consensus bugs.” In Peter Todd Warns of Potential for Accidental Bitcoin Forks, Infante describes how the pace and scale of refactoring may have created a fork in the development. If the fork is not corrected, the network may not be able to achieve consensus about official versions of events, which could wreak havoc for a payment system. This link roundup offers several recent blog posts and a conference presentation on the topic of refactoring.

Sacrificial Architecture: Martin Fowler of ThoughtWorks, and author of Refactoring, explains why he hopes that in a few years you’ll need to throw away the code you are creating today.

Architecture Seams: Jean Barmash at Hello FooBar! expands Michael Feathers’ term seam from the book Working Effectively with Legacy Code from code to architecture, then discusses how to exploit architecture seams in a large-scale refactoring project. Continue reading

Architectural Concepts Podcast: SATURN 2015 and Why You Should Plan to Attend

I had the pleasure of talking about our plans for SATURN 2015 with Bett Correa and Russ Miller, longtime friends of SATURN, on their Architectural Concepts Podcast.

Listen to SATURN 2015 and Why You Should Plan to Attend.

SATURN 2015 Keynotes

We are pleased to announce our three keynote speakers for the 11th annual SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference 2015. SATURN 2015 will be held April 27–30, at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, Baltimore, Md.

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Mary Shaw, the Alan J. Perlis University Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Co-author of Software Architecture: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline, she is considered to be one of the founders of the field of software architecture.

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Gregor Hohpe, chief IT architect at Allianz, co-author of Enterprise Integration Patterns, and a frequent speaker at conferences around the world. His accessible but technically accurate essays were republished in 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know and The Best Software Writing.

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Mark Schwartz, chief information officer, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Schwartz has introduced such practices as agile and lean development, continuous delivery, and DevOps and also leads efforts across DHS to introduce agile IT approaches.

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Call for Workshops–WICSA/CompArch 2015

WICSA 2015, the 12th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture, and CompArch 2015, the 9th federated conference series bringing together researchers and practitioners from Component-Based Software Engineering and Quality of Software Architecture, are launching a unified call for workshops for the 2015 co-located event that will be held in Montréal, Canada, May 4-8, 2015.

WICSA/CompArch 2015 workshops provide a unique forum for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss the latest R&D results, experiences, trends, and challenges in the field of software architecture, component-based software engineering, and software system qualities.

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Link Roundup, 12-12-14: Cross-Language and Cross-Platform Development

In a Huffington Post article titled “What Global Warming, Energy Efficiency and Erlang Have in Common,” Noah Gift says, “Hidden in the discussion of rising energy costs and consumption in datacenters is the selection of software language.” Gift’s emphasis is on how the constraints many languages have limit them to one processor and how the languages used to write software can affect the way that processors use energy. This inefficiency would seem to extend backward from running software to developing software. Nowadays, developers must contend not only with multiple desktop platforms but also with multiple mobile platforms, and do so in multiple languages. This week’s link roundup highlights some tools for simplifying the processes of developing across languages and platforms.

Apache Thrift: The Apache Thrift software framework combines a software library with a code-generation engine, and the compiler generates code that can communicate across programming languages, enabling efficient development of scalable backend services. A white paper discusses motivations and design choices. Continue reading

Why You Should Submit Your SATURN 2015 Proposal NOW

At SATURN, we hate the idea that a good talk might be rejected because its abstract is unclear or doesn’t answer questions that the reviewers might ask. Good talks should not be rejected because the proposal is not absolutely perfect.

So last year we introduced an early-acceptance deadline for speaker submissions, and it worked out really well. The quality of presentations was higher than in years past, and we overcame the dreaded Student’s Syndrome–everyone waiting until the night before to submit.

But this year we asked ourselves, Can we give even more opportunities? Can we make the proposal process even more friendly?

For SATURN 2015, we have adopted a rolling-acceptance approach.This means that the review committee is continuously reviewing speaker proposals as they are submitted. When reviewers see a great proposal, it is accepted immediately and added to the technical program. Authors of other proposals get detailed feedback about what the reviewers are thinking and what questions they have, so they can revise and resubmit.

No longer will you have to hire a soothsayer to guess what the committee might have been thinking, only to have the feedback too late to do anything about it.

We have been accepting speaker proposals since October though the website was lagging a bit. That has been corrected and the full list of speakers accepted is now available. The line-up so far is looking stellar.

The final deadline for acceptance is January 16, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last minute!  If you want the opportunity to be accepted early or to receive feedback for improving your proposal for resubmission, you should submit your proposal right now.

SATURN is a conference for working professionals. Our rolling acceptance and early feedback this year should make it easier for you to speak at SATURN, so don’t delay!

-Michael Keeling and George Fairbanks
SATURN 2015 Co-Technical Chairs

National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipient Mary Shaw to Deliver Keynote at SATURN 2015

For pioneering leadership in the development of innovative curricula in computer science, Dr. Mary Shaw of Carnegie Mellon University received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama during a White House ceremony in November 2014. The SATURN 2015 program committee is pleased to announce that Dr. Shaw will deliver a keynote presentation at SATURN 2015, which will be held at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, April 27-30.

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Mary Shaw is the Alan J. Perlis University Professor of Computer Science in the Institute for Software Research at Carnegie Mellon University, where she has been a member of the faculty since completing her PhD in 1972. The medal is the nation’s highest honor for achievement in the field of technology, innovation, and invention.

Shaw’s work on software architecture helped establish it as a recognized discipline. Selecting an appropriate architecture is now recognized as a critical step in the engineering of complex software systems for everything from the anti-lock braking systems in cars to the international banking system.

For 2015, the SATURN program committee has redesigned the event’s technical program to accommodate growth, expand opportunities for interaction and education, and offer participants greater flexibility in designing their conference experience. To learn more about changes to this year’s program, see SATURN 2015 Expands to Three Days, Offers New Options on the SEI website.

Proposals for the SATURN 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.

For more information about SATURN 2015, please visit http://www.sei.cmu.edu/saturn/2015/.

SEI Offers Course on Big Data

Software Engineering Institute (SEI) research forms the foundation for a new one-day course from the SEI, Big Data: Architectures and Technologies.

To learn more, see this article about the SEI big-data course on the SEI website.

The new big-data course, along with one-day courses on DevOps and technical debt, will be offered at SATURN 2015, which will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, April 27-30.

Link Roundup, 11/12/14: Minimum Viable Architecture

Minimum Viable Architecture

In his Introduction to Minimum Viable Architecture, Savita Pahuja at InfoQ recalls an older blog by Kavis Technology that described the role of agile methods as serving a balancing function between the minimum viable product and the minimum viable architecture. Below are several recent opinions on this topic and a project that is putting the theory into practice.

Less is More with Minimalist Architecture: Ruth Malan and Dana Bredemeyer wrote in the October 2002 issue of IT Professional that you should “sort out your highest-priority architectural requirements, and then do the least you possibly can to achieve them!”

Good Enough Is Good Enough: Minimum Viable Architecture in a Startup: In a presentation given at the San Francisco Startup CTO Summit, Randy Shoup encourages startups to ignore the advice he’s been giving for a decade on building large-scale systems. Continue reading

Link Roundup, 10/21/14: The Watson Explorer

The Watson Explorer

The Watson Developer Cloud brings Watson to developers and the cognitive cloud to Internet applications. Watson offers a variety of services for building cognitive apps, including language identification and translation, interpreting meaning based on context, and communicating with people in their own styles. Here are some reviews and links to APIs and sample code.

IBM’s Watson Supercomputer Gives Developers Access to Cognitive Cloud: George Lawton at TechTarget provides an early review of the Watson Explorer’s unified view of enterprise information. The cloud allows the technology to be accessible for a greater variety of applications and improves the scale and time to market of those applications.

IBM Debuts First Watson Machine-Learning APIs: Serdar Yegulalp at Java World previews the eight services that developers can access for building cognitive apps based on Watson’s machine intelligence service. He focuses on visualization rendering as the service least limited by data training. Continue reading