Matt Jarvis: “Romania has a fantastic community of computer scientists”

11 May 2018 devTalks

Our speakers are an important part that makes DevTalks a great event for the local IT community in Romania. Matt Jarvis, Senior Director, Community and Evangelism at Mesosphere is one of our speakers. Let’s see what was the biggest challenge that he encountered along his career and what is his message for the IT community in Romania.

1. First, we would like to thank you for accepting our invitation to DevTalks 2018. What convinced you to be our guest speaker?

Romania has a fantastic community of computer scientists, including many who’ve gone on to have global impact, particularly in the fields of data science, analytics and machine learning. I’ve been lucky enough over recent months to visit Bucharest and Cluj, and have had a great time getting to know the tech communities in Romania.

2. For the last 15 years you’ve been building products and services around open source software. What was the biggest challenge that you encountered along the way?

The biggest challenges in computing are almost always people and organizationally related – ‘wetware’ is far harder than software in most cases! As the computing systems we rely on become more and more distributed and cloud native, complexity continues to grow, and the challenges of how we design and operate systems doesn’t become any easier. All over the world, skills shortfalls are the biggest headache.

3. You also worked for the development of new products and services. How would you describe a product that brings technology innovation and business value?

In order to be successful, almost every business now needs to be a software business, and this throws up big challenges for traditional industries in the midst of this transformation. However, it’s also the case that for most businesses, actually building and operating computing systems is not adding any business value – the value to their customers is in the applications, software and algorithms that underpin their customer offerings. Truly innovative businesses recognise this distinction and apply their resources at the appropriate level, in the new era of cloud computing it’s no longer the case that everyone needs to have infrastructure and engineering capabilities in order to develop software products, and this is a uniquely empowering moment in the history of computing so far.

4. Do you have a message for the DevTalks audience?

We are entering what I believe to be a paradigm shift phase in the history of technology. The intersection of huge computing power available to everyone, and the rapid growth in machine learning and artificial intelligence is about to have profound changes across human society. Understanding the forces and technologies that are driving this will be fundamentally important to all of us over the coming years, so it’s vitally important that we are preparing future generations of programmers, systems designers and engineers for what’s to come.