Closing Trip Dublin

The TCC10 decided to orient its closing-trip to Dublin, since it accommodates several renowned telecommunication and information technology companies. We focused this trip to Google and IBM.

 Visit of Google EMEA HQ

Arriving at Google’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters in Dublin we were welcomed from our host Michal Pecek who kindly spent his day guiding us through the Google campus. We heard interesting talks about „Software Defined Networking and OpenFlow“, „Culture/Groups/hiring process“ and „Reliability of large-scale distributed systems“.

Arda Balkanay showed us the advantages and disadvantages of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow. The basic idea of SDN is to split up the data plane and the control plane. The control plane then gets implemented in a software application. OpenFlow is a new protocol designed to control the paths of packets in your network using a software application. The advantage of this, results in an easier operation of data streams in your network.

Finn O’Connell, who is a recruiter focused on potential female employees, pointed out the company philosophy of Google and gave us an insight to the hiring process. Despite his main focus, he was most helpful in explaining our male group what to do and not to do when applying at Google.

The final talk gave Jan Rouš in which he showed us the challenges of large-scale distributed systems. It was very interesting to gain insight in Google’s concepts how to scale up small emerging applications to the vast data-grinding killer applications. Beside other factors, it’s very important, that the reliability of the system is not in danger.  In this context we learned that the so called bus factor. It describes the amount of people which can be run over by a bus (or quit their job) to ensure that the system is still stable.

To sum up our visit, we not only gained valuable insights to Google’s philosophies but also saw the Google way of work. Finn showed us the buildings in which the technicians develop new technologies and keep the company running. Google cares a lot about their employees and so they have access to a library, the canteen, massage areas, power napping areas and many more.

We especially want to thank Michal Pecek for organizing our talks at Google and spending so much time with us in Dublin.

Visit of IBM Smarter City Research Lab

At IBM we got the exclusive possibility to spend a couple of hours at IBM’s single research lab focused on smarter cities. Karl Quinn, who also organized our visit at IBM, provided us with a great overview about the research lab’s projects and major achievements.

Subsequently, Francesco Calabrese, smarter transportation research manager, gave us some insight in the architecture and challenges from a technical perspective in order to support and consult vastly developing cities in their transportation challenges.

Finally, we had the pleasure to meet also Noel Crawford, manager of the research lab, who gave a very persuasive and impressing presentation on the research lab from a business and strategic perspective.

We would like to thank everyone who made this extremely interesting visit at IBM possible, in particular Karl Quinn as well as Mr. Calabrese and Mr. Crawford.

Leisure activities

Of course we used the opportunity of beeing in Dublin to see the sights and attractions of the city. Thereby we wouldn’t miss out getting a guided tour trough the Old Jameson Destillery. At the end of the tour we all got a taste of a fine triple distilled Irish whiskey.

Two of us also were chosen to join the special whiskey tasting, where they got to know the difference between Irish, Scotch and Bourbon whiskey.