woensdag 31 december 2008

Reduce our IT CO2 foot print, let's green label our applications!

After reading the book cradle to cradle I started thinking what we can do in IT about reducing our C02 footprint. People start to realize that IT is consuming some 5% of our energy consumption nowadays. So all hardware companies start thinking about how to improve the energy consumption of servers. This improvement is only aimed at the run time component of the application execution.
At design time, the question can be raised, can we make our programming greener?
I started programming in the late 80's, where I've learned to program to avoid memory usage (ok that lead us into the 2000 problem...), and optimize the program to run as smooth as possible with the scarce resources in mind.
With the ever increasing speed of processors, we are spoiled and tend to program sloppy nowadays, who cares about extra loop cycles, just add an extra processor.
Actually when we look nowadays at the 'size' of an application, the term SLOC (Source Lines of Code) is used. In short, instead of measuring the effectiveness of an application, we only look at the size, so size really matters....
Let's go back to the drawing table start thinking about programming again, how can we make our applications more efficient in the usage of resources?

I think green management of an application should be part of the design and run phase, and should already be added in the offerings we bring to our clients. Cars have an energy level, so why don't we green label our applications?

woensdag 17 december 2008

The Quest for the Crane

Once in a while there something which really makes you tick.
Six months ago I went out to do some running, it went bad, so at the end I was in a bad mood. When I wanted to drive back, the road was blocked by birdwatchers, but even though I like bird watching, I was annoyed by them and didn't care about the bird they were looking at. Back home I checked a bird watcher site and realised that it was about a Crane (grus grus), a very rare bird in The Netherlands. I went back but then, of course the crane was gone. Slowly I started getting the crane fever. I started studying web material and books. The biggest chance of spotting one is in the migrating season, from October to December, but when you study the statistics, Cranes are spotted in peaks, hundreds to thousands in one day and zero the day after, and mostly in the south and east of The Netherlands, not my region...
So I kept an eye on the spotting sites, and went out hiking, but apart from a nice walk, no result.
The last week however a Crane was spotted in the Rosmalen region, so I took a 'sebatical afternoon' and went out looking. And fortunately luck was with me, so the Quest for the Crane was completed. In the picture above it is the beautifull purple bird in the middle.

The only thing now is that I don't think the fever now is over...

zaterdag 8 november 2008

Sustainable society

This afternoon I went to a presentation at the Rotterdam Erasmus University on a sustainable society. Two speeches were held, one by Dr Michael Braungart, the author of Cradle to Cradle (Remaking the Way We Make Things) and the other by prof.dr. Jo van Nunen (sustainable transport). 
Very interesting subject in these times, how can we improve the way we live and still being able to enjoy live....
I've read Cradle to Cradle, in which some very interesting points were risen. Do not talk about NO WASTE (in which you always remember the word WASTE), think about the Redesign Products. I was a little disappointed by the presentation of Michael Braungart. It was negative and contained a lot of one-liners, like 'You don't need to go to Irak to find chemical weapons!'. I think the book Cradle to Cradle opens up a lot of opportunities of being positive. At one the questions which was raised by the audience, how we as companies contribute and be sure that partners are aiming at the same, Michael Braungart pointed out that we should look at the long term strategy of a company. In that respect it boils down to defining long term principles that we 'We have to redefine our way of defining things', not just improving current processes.
The speech of Jo van Unen was much more positive. He explained the how the closed loop supply chain (based upon reuse) can help improving things. He also launched an interesting new concept, a new industrial revolution for Europe. The products are created close to the customer, thus releving the transport part of the supply chain. These factories are robotized and   create on-demand products ordered by customers, operated by off shore capacities from for instance India, China etc. 
Both speakers emphasized that a lot of innovation is on the way, even though we have a (virtual) credit crisis.
So, it looks like a lot of work is on our way in IT, rethinking the way we define things (Architecture) and Software Engineering in the way we operate it.

donderdag 25 september 2008


I am a Software Architect working for Capgemini The Netherlands. I've done some 20 years now of Software Engineering, mainly with Oracle technology. The last years I've done a lot of work in the RFID world, making Software Architectures and finding my way in the SOA world. 

I'll use this blog to filter my ideas around Software Engineering, Oracle and some of hobbies, hiking, geology and birding

Regards Leon


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