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Presentation: "Mythbusting modern hardware to gain “Mechanical Sympathy”"

Track: Mythbusters / Time: Monday 15:50 - 16:40 / Location: Kammermusiksalen, Musikhuset

Jackie Stewart, the Formula 1 racing legend, believed that to be a great driver one must have a mechanical sympathy for how a car works to get the best out of it. He described this as the driver working in harmony with their car. To this day he is considered by many to be the smoothest, and possibly the greatest, driver ever. He stopped after 3 world titles to focus on car safety having seen so many of his friends die behind the wheel of a race car.

I this session we will attempt to bust the “myth” that computer hardware has become so complicated that no average developer could possibly understand the platform on which their software is executing. Martin believes it is possible for the modern developer to sufficiently understand our platforms to the same extent that a racing driver can understand the mechanics of their racing cars.

Make no mistake, modern hardware is like a modern racing car. This hardware is phenomenally fast and only held up by the unsympathetic software modern developers subject it to in their quest to turn code into heat and stack traces!

This session will cover CPUs, memory, networking and storage IO. The attendees will get the opportunity to understand how these work and what considerations they can apply to have their software performing like a race car rather than a bumper car. You get the chance to see if this myth can be busted.

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Martin Thompson, High-Performance Computing Specialist / Track Host

Martin Thompson

Biography: Martin Thompson

Martin is a high-performance and low-latency specialist, with experience gained over two decades working with large scale transactional and big-data domains, including automotive, gaming, financial, mobile, and content management. He believes Mechanical Sympathy - applying an understanding of the hardware to the creation of software - is fundamental to delivering elegant, high-performance, solutions. Martin was the co-founder and CTO of LMAX, until he left to specialise in helping other people achieve great performance with their software. The Disruptor concurrent programming framework is just one example of what his mechanical sympathy has created. 

Twitter: @mjpt777

Blog: Mechanical Sympathy

Video presentations: 4YOW! 2011: Martin Thompson - On Concurrent Programming and Concurrency Folklore