Design and development in a globally distributed corporation

This wasn’t a rehearsed or officially blessed presentation. I was given a last minute opportunity to speak to the students at the Sun Yat-sen University(SYSU) school mobile engineering (SMIE) Industry Elite Lecture Series.

We spent longer than planned looking at a number of the unique mobile/transportation, “Internet of Things” student projects. When we arrived late, at 7:45 in the evening, the room was already packed with students lined up on the back wall, as well as sat on the floor.

1261Speaking to students is always much more challenging than a industry organization. It’s much easier to make assumptions about the level of knowledge of the attendees at Industry events, you can’t make the same assumption about students. Also, giving a talk to those who don’t have the same first language, also requires you to to speak at a cadence that allows them to do realtime translation. A mistake a lot of speakers make, is they speak at their normal pace(often very fast) and stop and wait; the alternative and much worse as both a speaker, and as a listener is when the speaker speaks words slowly and leave big gaps between words, this means lost context and emphasis for both the speaker and the listener, either makes for a dull presentation.

I clearly need to work on my fillers, I said “right?” a few too many times. Based on the long Q&A period after the presentation, both Geoff and I got our points over and overall it was a very enjoyable visit.

The second half of the presentation Geoff talks about the Dell Software Application Monitoring product Foglight, and some of its’ features and functions.

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About & Contact

I'm Mark Cathcart, formally a Senior Distinguished Engineer, in Dells Software Group; before that Director of Systems Engineering in the Enterprise Solutions Group at Dell. Prior to that, I was IBM Distinguished Engineer and member of the IBM Academy of Technology. I'm an information technology optimist.


I was a member of the Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative Steering committee. Read more about it here.

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