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Mechanical Sympathy

Host: Martin Thompson

Jackie Stewart, the Formula 1 racing legend, said that to be great driver you must have mechanical sympathy for your racing car. Stewart believed the best performance came as a result of the driver and car working together in perfect harmony. This principle is not unique to racing cars. When we develop software with a degree of mechanical sympathy for our underlying hardware, phenomenal performance can be achieved. In the modern technology world we have so many layers of abstraction that most developers have either lost, or never acquired, the skills to understanding how their code actually executes. This not only results in less than optimal performance, it can also result in unexpected behaviour causing many functional and non-functional bugs. In this track we bring you many world experts who can demystify these layers of abstraction and demonstrate what can be achieved when mechanical sympathy is applied. The sessions are a deep dive into the inner workings of modern CPUs, memory sub-systems, networking, storage, and the operating systems and runtimes that provide our programs access to the hardware. You will be surprised and amazed at how phenomenally fast modern hardware has become. Our experts will show this is not a subject to be feared. We all are capable of learning what is happening under the hood. It can be so rewarding to see the huge improvements in our systems performance as we get back to proper computer science and systems engineering. This track is for anyone seeking a refresher on modern hardware and operating systems. Who does not want to see their systems scale and offer a great responsive user experience?