The Game of Distributed Systems Programming. Which Level Are You? « Incubaid Research

Now I’m getting really off topic. But, what was the topic anyways?

I used to be a programmer and had a spin-out company from Queen’s University in early 1980s where we had designed and implemented an awesome and mathematically robust parallel programming language, Nial

Listen, this was a loooong time ago – there was a bit of a Unix micro-computer bubble and the IBM PC arrived around 1982.  Our research group was sponsored by IBM back then.

Anyways, the article below talks about how difficult distributed programming is.  But, there is a new kind of application layering going on now with the cloud.  I understand that it’s not easy to design a scalable application for the cloud, but I don’t think you have to worry so much about the grotty details that you do when distributed systems programming.  I think you can achieve a tremendous amount by working primarily at the application layer and letting the virtualization and load-balancing do a lot of the auto-magic.  I do know something about load balancing distributed systems as I wrote my Master’s on it and I also know that there is still a lot of promise that isn’t quite yet delivered in the cloud.

On the other hand I am not a programmer any more, so if it is still very very difficult, it’s not my problem!

The Game of Distributed Systems Programming. Which Level Are You? « Incubaid Research.


Canadian Solar Inc. | manufacturer of silicon, ingots, wafers, cells, solar modules (panels) and custom-designed solar power applications

A Canadian company that is one of the largest solar panel producers in the world are part of this international Green IT project.

Canadian Solar Inc. | manufacturer of silicon, ingots, wafers, cells, solar modules (panels) and custom-designed solar power applications.

Cloud Culture, Privacy & Security

Day 2 of the national cloud conference’s morning panel on corporate change was the most entertaining and thought-provoking for me. A big discussion was whether to start a separate group with cloud skills and migrate the enterprise to the new group, or on the other hand, to have champions within the existing structure. It was felt that the cloud is a new way of doing business, definitely not just a new technology.

Some of my tweets from the conference:

“bite the elephant one bite at a time” = transition to the #cloud is a journey, good IT, once on the journey will never look back

If IT doesn’t provide it, then the users will go around IT -> reason IT depts must move to #cloud

Winners are often pioneers, but most pioneers fail – First mover paradox. Canada can still be first mover in #cloud

The #cloud is the perfect storm. It is not hype. It will deliver faster, cheaper, better

Bring your own device is the new way of business and security has to deal with it

Public clouds may in fact be more secure than private #clouds as they have the best IT expertise and it is their core business

Canadian Cloud Computing Conference Day 1

I am taking a break at the first Canadian Cloud Council conference in Edmonton that runs March 12-13.  I was a big part of organizing this, along with 4 other members of a somewhat grassroots effort to create a vendor-neutral forum for cloud providers and users from a Canadian perspective for mutual benefit.  cCc web site is

I used a lot of cloud-based tools to help me organize this distributed team.

RegOnline – is a Software as a Service program that supports online conference registrations and credit card payments, and badge printing and email followups and surveys.  I would not want to do a conference without this.

Google Docs – we shared some checklists and informtion using Google spreadsheets and some uploads.  We did not use this a lot.

Dropbox – for some big graphics files for the printers, we used DropBox.

Salesforce – we had access to a 10-person version of this, but have not set it up to use it for anything yet.

We are forming a national not-for-profit and will create a cloud-supported virtual organization.