Functional Programming @ Ghent IT Valley

  • Romain Slootmaekers Ghent IT Valley
  • Nicolas Trangez Ghent IT Valley
September 15, 2012 11:45 AM - 12:05 PM


In 2009 (Q3), Amplidata(then called B-Virtual) decided to use Ocaml to implement version 2.0 of their dispersed storage system (DSS). A deci- sion taken at the right moment: The development of the 1.6 version had completely stalled: bugs galore, new features too difficult to add, and the whole development team cranky. I (Romain Slootmaekers) seized the opportunity and offered to rewrite one of the components in the distributed system in Ocaml. 1.5 days later, a drop-in replacement for the component in question was demoed, fullfilling the promise. Together with the argument that if you do what everybody else does, you will get comparable results (not a very desirable outcome for a startup), this convinced upper management. Several years down the road, we can look back.

Romain Slootmaekers

Romain Slootmaekers is a computer scientist (ir cw, KULeuven) with interests in all facets of software development strategy and a special attraction towards the algorithmic challenges of distributed computing.

While being a Research team lead at A-Server, he discovered that Telecom and Storage are in fact the same (Storage being a very high latency telecom), an insight which led to a new class of storage now systems being productised by Amplidata.

He has the strong conviction programming languages should be part of the solution, not part of the problem.