February 26, 1988
Inmos has made no attempt to provide technical training and external contacts for professional staff. This situation is unsatisfactory, as it is impossible to keep abreast of developments as a spare-time activity. The recent ACARD report on software recommends at least 4 weeks per year should be spent entirely on technical training. I believe that this is a reasonable estimate.
The three major methods are:
There are many externally run courses in the UK. One example are the excellent courses run by Oxford on formal methods in software engineering - and those by Edinburgh on concurrency, ML etc. There have already been specific requests for training in these areas.
More internally organised training would also be useful. Engineers should learn how to program so that they can write layout generators; architects should have some understanding of silicon layout; etc.
The present internal seminars are popular - but these should be replaced with seminars given by external specialists.
Conferences and workshops take place all over the world. It is reasonable to plan for two such trips per year per person (e.g. one in the US, one in Europe). US trips should be combined with visits to centres of expertise, wherever possible. It is not necessary for Inmos papers to be presented at such conferences, although this is clearly desirable and people should be encouraged to submit papers.
Each member (including the director, managers etc.) of the microcomputer group should spend about 4 weeks per year in these activities.
A budget of £3000 per year per person should be established.
Someone should be given the task of organising seminars - and given a budget of £5000 per year.