Microsoft, Accenture and Goldman Sachs are working with non-profit organizations (such as the Linux Foundation) and climate protection groups to develop and share low-carbon software.
The Green Software Foundation, co-founded by Microsoft-owned GitHub and software consultancy ThoughtWorks, aims to create tools and standards for data centers. to measure the impact of software on the climate, and organize training for software engineers who want to learn how to create less energy-intensive programs. Data centers are currently responsible for about 1 percent of global electricity demand, and that rate is projected to rise to 3 to 8 percent over the next decade, according to a statement from companies scheduled for the Microsoft Build Developer Conference.
As software applications become more complex and processing-intensive, they require more and more computing power and power, leading to a call for greater awareness of their carbon footprint. Companies interested in cloud computing, such as Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet, have announced plans to reduce emissions from their data centers, and several companies have also unveiled carbon-neutral targets. To do this, software developers need to acquire a new skill – green software development – in the same way they were previously trained to prevent security flaws in their code.
“The goal is to build applications that emit carbon dioxide. To understand how to do this, you need to acquire skills that are not taught in the traditional environment, “said Asim Hussain, a key cloud development advocate at Microsoft, who will be the foundation’s executive director, in an interview
Although it is difficult to determine exactly how much CO2 each software program emits, some groups, such as the Green Software Foundation, look at metrics of how much power is needed, whether microprocessors are being used efficiently, and whether
The Foundation plans to examine curricula and develop certificates would provide engineers with expertise in this area. Similar to areas such as data science and cybersecurity, engineers will have the opportunity to specialize in green software development, but everyone who makes software will need at least some background knowledge on the subject. This will be the responsibility of each member of the development team, similar to when we look at security, performance, or reliability. Building the application in a sustainable way will matter, ”said Jeff Sandquist, vice president of development relations at Microsoft.
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