I found the time to attend ALT.NET Canada in Vancouver this past weekend. This turned out to be quite the event and I had a great time. Several other people from the Puget Sound area made the journey including myself and Bob from p&p.
As with all Open Spaces conferences “The things that are talked about are the right things to talk about”. There were several sessions I really got a lot out of including one proposed by Michael Stiefel on what Green IT/Computing means to developers—more on that in a later post—and another I proposed with Amanda Laucher on Manycore, Multi-core, GPGPU computing and Axum.
There was also a lot of drinking.
The Fallacies of Parallel Computing
This is what came out of the talk on multi/manycore computing and Axum. There was a lot of great discussion about the myths surrounding writing parallel code:
- Locality doesn’t matter
- Locks and sync are cheap
- More parallelism == faster code
- All actors see the system in the same state
- Parallel programming is really easy / impossibly hard
- All parallelism is the same
On Saturday afternoon there was a two hour Coding Dojo. I spent a bunch of time looking at Axum. Axum is a DSL for expressing parallelism which uses the agent model. It looks pretty interesting although the docs are a little on the sparse side. There’ll be more on this later too.