Nov 24, 2021 \ Poplar, Software, Developer
Why I’m joining Graphcore to lead our Developer Relations
Nov 24, 2021 \ Poplar, Software, Developer
Hello World! I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined Graphcore as Director of Developer Relations. Why? Because I believe our IPU hardware is amazing. I want to help AI developers get stuff done and make cool AI applications with our cutting-edge technology. In other words, I’m here to help you succeed.
Graphcore created the Intelligence Processing Unit, or IPU, the world’s first ever processor designed specifically for machine intelligence. AI is a totally different kind of compute, where we’re dealing with unusual characteristics like probabilistic data or sparsity.
While traditional processors like GPUs are being adapted to work with machine learning algorithms, the IPU has been built from the ground up to run them as efficiently as possible. So naturally, they’re a lot faster.
Right from the start we’ve been thinking about how developers can use IPUs to their advantage. We co-designed our Poplar software stack with the IPU to make it easy for developers to run their applications via popular ML frameworks like TensorFlow and PyTorch or directly program our systems in Python and C++ for extra compute firepower.
But don’t take it from me. In fact, hundreds of developers are already using Graphcore IPUs to accelerate their AI projects across fields like finance, healthcare, academia and scientific research and you can read their stories on our website.
The IPU is amazing. It’s one of the most computationally advanced pieces of hardware I’ve ever used and, along with the Poplar SDK, it makes building state-of-the-art models so much faster. Its unique architecture is opening up opportunities for breakthroughs in new areas of studies and fields of play. My main objective is to make sure AI Developers get maximum performance out of IPUs and can bend them to their creative will.
I’ll break them down into these 3 core initiatives of the DevRel team which we prioritise to ensure a great developer experience:
Developers need to know what IPUs are, how to use them – the art of what’s possible. I’m talking about our content! We’ve got plenty of brilliant researchers and engineers that have worked on the IPU and innovative partners that have successfully pushed the boundaries of their field with IPUs. We need to get content out there for other developers to read, watch, and recreate so they can successfully make new and better applications that can be fed back into this flywheel of awesomeness and innovation.
Yes, docs, talks, and walks (walkthroughs) are helpful, but devs need tools. Teach a person to fish, right, but we must provide them with the right tools for fishing! In the IPU world, these tools would be our SDK, developer tools, tutorials, templates, and example code. I will be working with the engineering teams to advocate for developer feedback and will also contribute code and tools myself.
It takes a village, it’s the first half of an African proverb about raising a child, but it’s also a universal truth for every developer that has ever written or debugged code. There is valuable collective wisdom within our village of silicon engineers, architects, core IPU engineers, model developers, data centre managers, and more. I’d like to strengthen channels where developers can have fruitful interactions with each other as they program IPUs.
I’ve worn various developer hats in my career across data science and AI, honing my skills in firms like Samsung, Teradata and EY. Along the way, I’ve experienced working in the different stages of the development lifecycle, from being a research engineer and a client-facing data scientist to leading MLOps teams.
I’ve always enjoyed learning new things in a variety of domains. For example, I worked on computational linguistics for my electronics engineering capstone and did audio-visual speech recognition for my masters research. I’ve enjoyed experimentation and writing papers and patents, the same way I’ve enjoyed productionising code that’s found its way into millions of devices.
The past decade has shown an increased pace of change and a variety of innovative cycles that we have seen in technology.
My penchant for following the next shiny thing taught me a lot and has led me to ride various hype cycles and work on interesting (and useful) stuff:
Now, I’m excited to be working with a technology that has the potential to make AI breakthroughs happen across so many different fields.
I’m glad to have joined Graphcore as DevRel at a time where we’re more focused than ever on developer success. We want to help you accelerate your models with ease and make it simple to innovate with AI.
To make that happen, here’s what I’ll be up to in my new role:
Since starting at Graphcore, I’ve been thrilled to work alongside wonderful and smart people building state-of-the-art technology – that’s the technologist’s dream, right? The greatest technology isn’t necessarily the biggest or the shiniest – it’s the technology that can empower you to achieve your goals, completely unlimited. And we’ll be building programmes that will focus on just that – Developer Success.
Our Developer portal is a treasure trove for learning how to program IPUs: there, you’ll find all our documentation, tutorials, how-to videos, links to our GitHub code and much more.
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