Monday, November 09, 2015

HPTS 2015

I've been so busy travelling to conferences and customer engagements that I haven't had a chance to write about my trip to HPTS 2015. I've written several times about previous trips to this workshop and how it's my favourite of them all, so won't repeat. The workshop had the usual high standard of presentations and locating it at Asilomar is always a great way to focus the mind and conversations.

Because of its highly technical nature of the workshop I always like to use this event to try out new presentations - I know the feedback I receive will be constructive and worth hearing. This time my submission was essentially about what I'd written earlier this year concerning the evolution of application servers (application containers) driven by immutability and operating system containers, such as Docker. And I threw in a smattering of microservices since the topic is obviously relevant and I figured Adrian would be there! My presentation was well received and the feedback clearly showed that many people at the event agreed with it.

One other positive thing to come from the workshop and my presentation was that my co-traveller and long time friend/colleague, Professor Shrivastava, saw the presentation for the first time at the event. He understood it and whilst much of what was said I and others take for granted, he believes that there are groups of people that would find it interesting enough that we should write a paper. Writing papers with Santosh is something I enjoy and it has been a very fruitful collaboration over the years, so I look forward to this!

I also want to thank James because it was our discussions after I started my initial entries on the evolution of application servers that helped to focus and clarify my thinking.

High Integrity Software 2015 conference

I was asked to give one of the keynotes at this year's High Integrity Software Conference and I have to say that I enjoyed the entire event. It's probably one of the best technical conferences that I've been to for a while and I've been thinking about why that was the case. I think it's partly due to the fact that it was a very focussed themed event with multiple tracks for just a small part (4 talks) of the day so everyone at the event was able to concentrate on that main theme. In many ways it was similar to how conferences and workshops were "back in the day", before many of them seemed to need to try to appeal to everyone with all of the latests hot topics at the time.

The other thing that appealed to me was that I was asked to give a talk I hadn't given before: dependability issues for open source software. The presentation is now available and it was nice to be forced to put into a presentation things I've taken for granted for so many years. The feedback from the audience was very positive and then we were straight into a panel session on open source, which was also well attended with lots of great questions. Definitely a conference I'll remember for a long time and one I hope to go back to at some point.

Finally there was one presentation that stuck in my mind. It was by Professor Philip Koopman and worth reading. There's a video of a similar presentation he did previously and despite the fact it's not great quality, I recommend watching it if you're at all interested in dependable software for mission critical environments.