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What are the most essential ideas in software architecture all developers should know?
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outcomes Create May 6, 2019

SATURN 2019 Workshop -- Architecture Island

Dear <familiar_name_here>,

Congratulations!  You have been selected to establish a new colony
on Architecture Island!  Your skills in software design have made
you a highly valued member of our crew.  As a software architect,
we imagine you'll want to bring a few books and other resources
with you.  Unfortunately, due to cargo restrictions, it is not
possible for you to bring all the architecture, design, and
programming books from your personal library.  There is only
enough room for the most important information.

Please report to the SATURN docking bay 94 in Pittsburgh, PA on
May 6 to finalize preparations before your journey.  Welcome
to the crew!

Warm regards,

George and Michael
Architecture Island Expedition Leaders

The premise of this workshop is simple. Our goal is to identify the most important concepts, ideas, strategies, methods, patterns, and so on, that all software engineers must know about software architecture. While the premise is simple, achieving our goal will be challenging. During the SATURN 2018 workshop on growing great designers we were rather alarmed to see that the list of “required reading for software architects” easily resulted in a person sized tower of paper. Indeed, surveys on Twitter and elsewhere have turned up a similarly long lifetime of reading. We can do better. We must do better.

During the workshop we’ll explore what makes software architecture unique, important, and indispensable to building great software. By the end of the workshop we will have distilled the collective wisdom of the group down to it’s essential core. Participants will have the opportunity to share their reflection, takeaways, and lessons as lightning talks throughout the SATURN conference.

The workshop took place on Monday, May 6, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA during the SATURN 2019 conference on software architecture.

Workshop Participants

Position Papers

We asked everyone to do some thinking ahead of the workshop in the form of a brief position paper. The purpose of this position paper was to get everyone thinking critically about the topic on your own, but also by reading other ideas before the start of the workshop.


The 15th SEI Architecture Technology User Network (SATURN) Conference — the longest-running software architecture conference in the world — brings together influential leaders and experts to discuss architecture-centric practices for developing, acquiring, and maintaining software-reliant systems. Architects from more than 20 countries meet annually at SATURN to share ideas, network, and learn about new and existing technologies.

Past Workshops

Workshop Organizers

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