Effective Concurrency Course: Sep 22-24, 2008

The first offering of the three-day Effective Concurrency course in May went very well. We’re doing it again later this month — this will be the last offering this year.

Here’s the brief information (more details below):

3-Day Seminar: Effective Concurrency

September 22-4, 2008
Bellevue, WA, USA
Developed and taught by Herb Sutter

This course covers the fundamental tools that software developers need to write effective concurrent software for both single-core and multi-core/many-core machines. To use concurrency effectively, we must identify and solve four key challenges:

  • Leverage the ability to perform and manage work asynchronously
  • Build applications that naturally run faster on new hardware having more and more cores
  • Manage shared objects in memory effectively to avoid races and deadlocks
  • Engineer specifically for high performance

This seminar will equip attendees to reason correctly about concurrency requirements and tradeoffs, to migrate existing code bases to be concurrency-enabled, and to achieve key success factors for a concurrent programming project. Most code examples in the course can be directly translated to popular platforms and concurrency libraries, including Linux, Windows, Java, .NET, pthreads, and the forthcoming ISO C++0x standard.

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover during the three days:


  • Define basic concurrency goals and requirements
  • Understand applications’ scalability needs
  • Key concurrency patterns

Isolation: Keep Work Separate

  • Running tasks in isolation and communicate via async messages
  • Integrating multiple messaging systems, including GUIs and sockets
  • Building responsive applications using background workers
  • Threads vs. thread pools

Scalability: Re-enable the Free Lunch

  • When and how to use more cores 
  • Exploiting parallelism in algorithms 
  • Exploiting parallelism in data structures 
  • Breaking the scalability barrier

Consistency: Don’t Corrupt Shared State

  • The many pitfalls of locks–deadlock, convoys, etc.
  • Locking best practices
  • Reducing the need for locking shared data
  • Safe lock-free coding patterns
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of general lock-free coding
  • Races and race-related effects

Migrating Existing Code Bases to Use Concurrency

Near-Future Tools and Features

High Performance Concurrency

  • Machine architecture and concurrency
  • Costs of fundamental operations, including locks, context switches, and system calls
  • Memory and cache effects
  • Data structures that support and undermine concurrency
  • Enabling linear and superlinear scaling

I hope to get to meet some of you in the Seattle area!

One thought on “Effective Concurrency Course: Sep 22-24, 2008

  1. Has there been any thought on making these seminars available through an online medium. I know from personal experience that it might not be possible to make the trip to a particular location but I would think there would be a much bigger audience for an online presentation as well along the lines of an online course. Just a thought!!

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