IBM, Big Green, Rational and Eco-aware Programming

I am at an event at IBM South Bank looking at some data center futures. The current session is with Christopher O’Connor, vice-president strategy and market management, Tivoli, who just raised an issue that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Just what will it mean to develop greener software? What would a green API look like? As usual- better performance is one answer to the problem.  Lean is Green.

Chris said that Rational, IBM’s software development tools and process organisation, is now looking at “green aware programming”. Good job. Chris mentioned one immediate area of concern – “the fetch”. That is – code that keeps calling a database tends to be performance intensive, and indentifying fetch bottlenecks could be a great step towards writing code that consumes less power. We’re talking about heat maps for code.

It will be interesting to see more about the Rational approach, and I will make an effort to do just that. But for now, its just good to report that IBM is thinking deeply about the problem and developing tools to support its findings.

On that note I am beginning to wonder if beautiful code is green code. Code generation tends to generate pretty ugly code – but is it less efficient?  Developers that write beautiful code may end up in great demand for their green coding: but this is pure conjecture at this point…