words of wisdom from a systems engineer

OpenPOWER Summit Europe 2016 Recap


I was in Barcelona last week for two big events: the OpenStack Summit and the OpenPOWER Summit. Luckily, the events were separated only by a five minute walk. Many of the slides from the OpenPOWER Summit are already available online.

One of my favorite talks was from Prof. Mateo Valero, the director of the Barcelona Supercomputer Center (Centro Nacional de Supercomputación). He was a great speaker and he talked a lot about how OpenPOWER has given them a new edge. It’s part of what helps them stay on the forefront of supercomputer technology.

On Friday, I was honored to be on a panel with some other leaders in the OpenPOWER community:

We talked about what makes open source a game changer in our businesses and our worlds. I talked about how open source software and hardware gives everyone a seat at the table. Every seat is a little different - some people offer software improvements, some offer use cases, and others do real-world testing. Every seat has intrinsic value in the process and everyone has a say in where the community goes.

Open source also provides mobility in multiple ways. For businesses, open source allows them to stand on the shoulders of others and make meaningful improvements in their product much more quickly. Open source projects also allows individual people to increase their skills, learn patterns from others, and level up their capabilities.

Several vendors were showing off technology during the reception on Thursday night and I had the opportunity to talk with Rob Taylor from

They’re doing some amazing work with accelerators that makes them more approachable for developers. Learning VHDL isn’t terribly easy and developers prefer to work in the languages that they’re using to build their applications. The folks at have software that allows a developer to write software in C, C++, or Go and then translate certain pieces of that code to VHDL. This makes accelerators more approachable for more developers and reduces the cycle time for improvements.

The conference was fairly small, but it was nice to get extra face time with developers, executives, and partners in the OpenPOWER market. I’ll be looking forward to the next wave of developments in accelerators and Power 9!