According to the International Energy Agency, data centres and data transmission networks now account for 2-3% of global electricity use, which is more than the total proportion of energy used by the aviation industry. Bitcoin presently uses around 110 Terawatt Hours each year, or about the yearly energy consumption of small nations like Malaysia or Sweden, according to the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF). And according to MIT's Technology Review, training and hosting one AI model will produce 50 metric tons of carbon emissions. So, if we - as software engineers - want to play our part in the drive to achieve net zero by 2050, we need to start asking questions about the energy use and emissions of the systems we build, test, and deploy.
In this talk we will consider the impact of the code we write, how we can make code more efficient, reduce the carbon footprint of testing plans, and what factors to review when making decisions around tooling, monitoring and hosting systems. With the prevalence of cloud-based hosting solutions, and the subsequent ease of dynamic scaling, it's easy to overlook the need to optimise code. We're also going to think about what technical architects and app designers can do to drive customer behaviour towards lower carbon outcomes. And we're going to raise big questions that our employers, clients and vendors should consider when they decide to measure carbon emissions and when they select products and services to deliver a low carbon solution.
This talk will highlight some good and bad practises through real life coding examples; and stimulate conversations around carbon and code.
Shirley Tarboton
Shirley Tarboton is a Lead Software Engineer with Capgemini’s Cloud Dev Team. She has helped to build and deploy many cloud-hosted java microservice systems. Many of her projects have been within public sector clients, but she has also delivered systems for a range of industries including digital interactive TV.
In addition to her software engineering career, Shirley has worked as a university lecturer, a charity administrator, and as a founder / Tech Lead of a social enterprise working to bridge the digital divide using voicexml. 
In her home life, her family strives to reduce its carbon footprint by experimenting with technology e.g. low-carbon heating, low-carbon travel, low-carbon cooking.
Shirley is driven by a desire to solve problems in a simple and efficient way, using appropriate technology, so as to maximise benefit to the wider community. She has found this approach to be consistent with sustainability objectives, agile and devops.