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Jonathan Erickson

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Back in Barcelona, or Forward Thinking in a Parallel World

April 12, 2010

I'm back in Barcelona. It always amazes me is that after going to a country on one of my trips they actually let me back in again. (Except for China, of course, where you'll recall I was denied a request for a "I'm back!!" trip.) But Barcelona is great, and what brings me back is a conference on "Go Parallel" which is all about parallel programming, a favorite topic of mine.

Even though the week is still young, two highlights come to mind:

1. The naked dude riding a bicycle in City Center (and you thought I was going to give a review of last night's fancy resturant). Let's just say the guy looked fit and tanned -- all over.

2. I got to sit behind the camera in a filmed conversation between Intel's James Reinders (that's him on your right) and Microsoft's Steve Teixeira (on your left).

James I know, but it was the first time I've had the chance to meet Steve. It was a particularly fortuitous, since Steve recently submitted a great article to Dr. Dobb's on the topic of (you guessed it) parallelization. It's not often I get to meet Dr. Dobb's authors face-to-face these days, so this was a treat. (Steve's article will be published on Dr. Dobb's next week.)

Let me say two things about Steve. First of all, he's really tall. Or maybe I'm that short. Or both. Secondly, he's really good when talking about something (like parallelization) that he's passionate about. James and Steve chatted for nearly an hour about all things parallel. Stuff like "work-stealing" and "static scheduling", both of which I've read about but never fully understood until listening to them, or how tasks are cheaper than threads resource-wise, or how the Concurrency RunTime is in some ways a bridge between Intel and Microsoft's approach to parallelism. And Steve's "Best Practices for Parallelization".

How good was their conversation? Good enough that I'm going to watch it for real when it goes live, and I recommend you do too. What is especially cool when it does go live is that you'll be able to interact and ask them questions.

Okay, I don't know the name of the session because as of yet it doesn't have a name, nor do I know when and where. I did hear someone say something about "May 18 or 19". Tell you what...when I find out, I'll let you know. Check back here and/or at www.drdobbs.com/go-parallel/ for details. In the meantime, here at the conference James speaks later today and Steve is on tap tomorrow, and I don't want to miss either session.

So looking forward, here's the lineup: James this afternoon, Steve tomorrow, Steve's article next week, webinar chat in mid May. And that's just the start.

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