I attended the SATURN 2013 conference in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago, which is an annual practitioner conference about software architecture, organised by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon University. The conference is in its 9th year now, but it's not something that's been on my radar to be honest, partly because it's in the US and partly because I've not heard much about it in the past.
SATURN is definitely not your typical hardcore developer conference, although there were a few talks that focussed on technology and code. The majority of the talks were a mix of how software architecture is being applied in the real-world alongside others that were more research focussed. This is unsurprising since the conference is organised by the SEI but the even the research talks were grounded in industry. I didn't really appreciate how much industry work the SEI actually did until I met some of the team. SATURN is certainly not an academic conference ... I don't remember hearing about missile control systems at a software conference in the past!
The keynotes by Stephan Murer, Scott Berkun, Mary Poppendieck and Philippe Kruchten were excellent, as were Mary's and Philippe's tutorials that I attended on the Friday. If you want to see what sort of things were talked about at SATURN 2013, you can download all of the slides. Here are the links to view/download the slides and photos from my own sessions:
It was great to catch-up with old friends and meet many new ones. The conference was fantastic as it was ... but then, during the closing session, I was surprised and honoured to win the IEEE Software sponsored SATURN 2013 "Architecture in Practice" Presentation Award for my talk about the conflict between agile and architecture!
Talk about the "icing on the cake". Once again, a huge thank you to everybody that voted. :-)
Simon is an independent software development consultant specialising in software architecture and the author of Software Architecture for Developers. Simon lives in Jersey and regularly speaks to audiences around the world. You can find Simon on Twitter at @simonbrown and Google+.