INNOQ Technology Day - It's not easy being green

I loved to see INNOQ hosting a “Green IT” track as part of their online conference “Technology Day”.

Unfortunately, I only managed to hear the talk “It’s not easy being green” by Michel Krämer, but it was a good one, and I want to share some thoughts I liked about it.

Cost are still the primary driver of change

Optimising software is expensive, often pricier than just using a bigger machine. This is even more true in times when a single click lies between the developer and a faster CPU in some cloud provider’s data center.

On the other hand, if you think through the effects of climate change, prices of hosting software in the future will rise significantly. So, the development cost to hosting cost ratio may change in some not so far away future. More energy-efficient software will save our customers’ money eventually.

The development process matters

Secondly, we developers have to look at our own nose and take a more profound look at the energy consumption of our development processes. In most projects, this may easily outrun the footprint of the production software. Most of our best practices like testing, CI/CD, multienvironment setups etc. add a giant footprint to the overall energy consumption. Thinking through test setups to avoid unnecessary tests and switching off test-environments when they are not used are the easy wins we need to take on our way to making the software industry more sustainable.

Start small

A last thought I also liked was to not skip a win, even if it appears to be small. To reduce the footprint of a project, you can start with switching off the development machines overnight and end in having the complete infrastructure for a massive cluster, scaling up and down dynamically based on the load.

It is fun and challenging to think through complex problems

Us software developers like to solve complex - multidimensional problems. That is part of the job description. Climate change adds another dimension to the complexity we can consider in our projects. For me, it is super important to change perspective and not see it as a new hurdle, but a nice challenge we can accept as part of our work.

So let’s start saving some energy and share the word!

For further reading on the topic, I can highly recommend Tom Greenwoods Oxymoron Newsletter. His content is just incredibly well written and full of thoughts you will find nowhere else.

1. Dezember 2022 Fabian Biberger
Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash