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Mike Williams
Co-Inventor of Erlang
Ericsson AB

Mike is originally from South Wales, but has in fact lived in Sweden longer than he has anywhere else.
Way back in the 1960's after working as a Atheistic Missionary in Malawi, Mike went to Cambridge where he learnt a lot about drinking beer and rather less about "Mechanical Sciences". He then moved to Sweden in 1970 (guess why :-) and joined Ericsson as a hardware designer. The price of beer in Sweden being horrendously expensive enabled Mike to concentrate more on other things, He joined with Bjarne D├Ącker to found the Ericsson Computer Science Laboratory 1980. One of the things they did in the Computer Science lab was to "invent" Erlang. Mike's role was to develop the first  Erlang virtual machine  (Joe developed the compiler and machine  architecture). He worked out the primitives for fault handling and  dynamic code replacement
In 1990 Mike glided into management by a complete accident,  and found he rather liked it. Since then he has been in charge of both large  and small units within Ericsson which develop software.


Mike Williams is Giving the Following Talks
How Not to Run a Software Project

I have been involved in both software development work and managing units which do software development for more than 40 years. During that time software technology and tools have evolved dramatically. 

There are many factors which influence how a software development project should be run:
  • Size of the project
  • New development or addition of functionality to existing software system
  • Detailed specification or woolly specification
  • Experience and skill of the developers available
  • Required development time
  • Needed software technology
You have to adapt to way projects are managed to these and many other factors. Trying to run all software development projects in the same way is a bad idea!

Keynote: Over a Century of Programming

The three of us (Joe, Robert and Mike) have more than 100 years combined experience of programming. We have noticed the vast majority of software development projects use programming languages based on concepts which were developed close on a half a century ago. Tools and development environments have changed, but with few exceptions the basic paradigms remain the same.

We will reflect on our experience, what is good, what is bad and what is ugly. How did the past and our experience influence us when we developed Erlang.