Category Archives: Architecture Competence

Jørn Ølmheim and Harald Wesenberg on Teaching Architecture Metamodel-First, George Fairbanks, SATURN 2014 Presentation

By Jørn Ølmheim and Harald Wesenberg
Statoil ASA

We were fortunate enough to be able to participate at SATURN 2014. For Jørn, this was his first time at SATURN, while for Harald it was the fourth SATURN conference. As always, we knew that the quality of the conference content is high, and we were looking forward to a fun week with learning new and interesting ideas from other practitioners.

In this group of excellent presentations and tutorials there were many that stood out, but to us George Fairbanks’ talk on teaching architecture was definitely one of the greatest. Many of the more experienced participants at the conference recognized George’s experiences of trying to teach the importance of architecture to the junior team members with varying degree of success, so we were well motivated for a discussion about how this can be done better. Many of us recognize the challenges of motivation and lack of commitment both from your peers and the company to spend time on such activities.

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CNN/Money Says Software Architect Now Top Job in U.S.

So says CNN/Money magazine. Last October, we reported here on the SATURN blog that CNN/Money had identified software architect as #8 on its lists of both top-paying and least-stressful jobs.

This year, software architect holds the top position.

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SATURN 2011 Theme: Architecture Is Not Just for Architects (Paul Clements)

To me, “architecture is not just for architects” sums up the reason that architecture is worth studying. I have long been interested in how architecture reaches out to other phases of software and system development life cycles, and into organizational structures and business communities as well. The “architecture business cycle” that Len Bass, Rick Kazman, and I write about in our book Software Architecture in Practice exemplifies this. It shows how architectures influence, and in turn are influenced by, business forces, technical and technological forces, and environmental forces. Our work in describing the relationship between architecture and business led to the PALM method for eliciting business goals and tying them to architectural forces.

Earlier work on architecture and organization led to the SEI’s Architecture Competence Assessment for organizations. This year, I’m leading an effort to study and enrich the relationship between architecture and testing. All of these connections highlight the role and power and reach of architecture far beyond the architect’s office.

I’m delighted to have the opportunity to examine this topic further at SATURN 2011.

– Paul Clements, SEI

Paul Clements on certified software architects

In the November/December issue of IEEE Software, Paul Clements of the SEI writes in the Career Development column about certified software architects. Here is the abstract:

Are software architecture certifications worthwhile? At a recent Software Engineering Institute architecture conference, certification programs from Boeing, Raytheon, Siemens, the International Association of Software Architects, and the SEI were presented and compared. This article captures the comparison, and offers some advice about engaging in certification activities and (if you’re an organizational manager) setting up your own program.

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SATURN 2010: Panel on Certification


  • Rolf Siegers, Raytheon
  • Don O’Connell, Boeing
  • Frances Paulisch, Siemens AG
  • Andy Ruth, International Association of Software Architects (IASA)
  • Linda Northrop, SEI

Moderated by Paul Clements.

Each speaker gave brief overview of their organizations’ certification programs. Then each speaker presented concuding thoughts about certification programs for architects. Discussion and questions were welcomed throughout.

Here are excerpts and highlights:

Raytheon: Targeted for senior systems or enterprise architect practitioners. Companywide initiative that identifies, instructs, and assesses Raytheon’s top systems and enterprise architects. Intended to establish cadre of senior architects to develop architectures that meet Raytheon needs and mentor next generation of architects. Started in 2004. 150+ fully certified, 115+ others fully trained. Rest are at various stages. Certification is a mechanism to curtail “business-card architects.”

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Link Roundup: April 12, 2010

Good morning all,

Welcome to our April 12 link roundup. Here are some notable posts and pages from other software engineering blogs and websites that you may have missed:

Testing Service Oriented Solutions, by Richard Seroter at Richard Seroter’s Architecture Musings. Richard talks about the SEI’s recently released report, Testing in Service Oriented Environments, and the 65 recommendations contained therein.

When Is It Time to Quit? by Peter Cripps at Software Architecture Zen. Peter discusses what to do when you realize the project isn’t going to be delivered, and how to recognize the warning signs before you get to that point.

7 Management Interventions for Adapting and Adopting Processes, by J.D. Meier at his personal blog. J.D. shares a good article about change management.

For developers, iPhone-to-iPad is a bigger jump than you’d expect, by Martin Heller at Strategic Developer. Martin examines the differences between programming for the iPad and the iPhone and how this can affect other types of cross-platform functionality.

Why we need certification for IT architects, by Matt Deacon at Matt Deacon’s digestive blog. Matt brings up a valid point about IASA’s IT certification process.

And finally, on April 22, the SEI will host a webinar with Nanette Brown where she will discuss Agile development and software architecture.

Link Roundup: March 1, 2010

Good morning all,

Welcome to our March 1 Link Roundup. Here are some notable posts from other software engineering blogs that you may have missed:

Version Control Tools, by Martin Fowler on his personal blog. Martin compares various version control tools and calls out some truly terrible ones.

IT Training and Justification, by Dan Douglas at IT is Possible. Dan provides a great case for the value of ongoing training for IT professionals.

The Extensibility Syndrome, by Michael Stal at Hitchhiker’s Guide to Software Architecture and Everything Else. Michael’s discussion of extensible design provides a look at change throughout the development cycle.

The SOA Paradox: Rejecting the Architecture, Embracing the Concepts, by Loraine Lawson at ITBusinessEdge. Loraine gives evidence that service orientation (if not service-oriented architecture) is the wave of the future.

Agile Security Engineering, by J.D. Meier on his personal blog. J.D. summarizes his talk from the Microsoft 2010 MVP Summit, where he covered Agile security engineering.

What does the brand of “Enterprise Architect” stand for? by Nick Malik at Inside Architecture. Nick muses on the meaning of enterprise architect as a brand.

Software Architects: Are You Losing Ground if You Are Not Credentialed?

As previously announced here, we at the SEI are planning a track on architecture certification at SATURN 2010, including a panel discussion with representatives from Siemens, the International Association of Software Architects (IASA), the SEI, and other organizations.

An example of the increasing demand for credentialed architecture expertise comes from the U.S. Army. In a memo signed by Lieutenant General N. Ross Thompson, principal military deputy for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology (Mil Dept of ASA [ALT]), on May 26, 2009, the U.S. Army mandated that all program executive offices (PEOs) appoint a chief software architect (CSWA) to be responsible for oversight and management of software development within each PEO. The memo also specified that the CSWA must earn a Software Architecture Professional Certificate from the SEI (or equivalent).

An article by R. Rivera, “Am I Doing Architecture or Design Work?” (IT Professional, Volume 9,  Issue 6,  Nov.-Dec. 2007 Page(s):46 – 48) discusses architecture certification at Hewlett-Packard Services and speculates that “Certification might become mandatory over time in the same way that Project Management Institute certification is expected for all HP Services program and project managers.”

Want to make big money in a low-stress job? Be a software architect

…says CNN/

In the CNN/Money list of top-paying jobs, software architect ranked No. 8. Likewise in the list of least stressful jobs.

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Value of Architecture in Reducing Complexity

Most of you work on complex systems, and we all know that complexity is growing, due to size growth, legacy issues and “software aging,” accommodating underlying platform and technology changes, new requirements, and a host of other things.

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