Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Parker

We're proud to announce our other featured speaker from Walmart: Jeff Parker! 

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Jeff Parker and Pam Fisher will be speaking about Walmart’s micro-cloud environment and technology advances. You won’t want to miss this morning session!

Bio: Jeff Parker is an Enterprise Technical Expert at Walmart, where he focuses on research and development for a wide range of areas, focusing on solving business problems with cloud technology. Jeff possesses over 20 number of years of experience in Service Development, Cloud architecture and Analytic systems working for retail giants Walmart and Amazon. He holds a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas.

Topic: Operating Services in a Hostile Environment

The Breakdown: The cloud offers the promise of unlimited compute and always-on network, but what if your environment doesn't guarantee those promises? This talk will highlight techniques used to operate and deploy Walmart's next-generation point of sale (POS) software using micro-cloud technology at the edge. Store-based micro-clouds provide exceptional availability even when faced with exceptional conditions. Learn how Walmart uses the micro-cloud environment to provide redundancy for the solution when connectivity is interrupted or non-optimal to provide a seamless, consistent checkout experience for Walmart's customers. 

Read on to learn more about Jeff, his love for fantasy books, and what's happening with Walmart tech. 

What is your background in?

I started my career in building analytics systems, eventually working on all aspects from data acquisition and modeling, to building data analytics systems. Ten years ago, I shifted my career to focus on building highly scalable transactional services in the cloud, primarily using Java on Linux. 

What does a day-to-day look like for you?

I do a lot of R&D and work with various teams to solve interesting business problems from a cloud perspective. 

What is currently happening with Walmart Labs, WalmartLabs, and eCommerce?

We're seeing a shift toward product-oriented software development, using an iterative approach more commonly seen with startups. We've built an amazing cloud team that's taken the traditional IT process and made it irrelevant for our developers. That allows them to focus primarily on delivering capabilities to customers. It's a super exciting time to work at Walmart Labs. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 

I have an identical twin brother who is also a technologist working at Walmart Labs in Bentonville. As a result, I've had some interesting conversations with people I don't know, but they certainly felt they knew me. 

Can you describe some Walmart-unique technical challenges the company is solving?

It's what our talk is all about. Walmart scale is really different than what other companies deal with from a scale perspective. With 5500+ stores in the U.S., we're working to build out micro-clouds in each, manage the data, and scale our deployment processes and operations to ensure everything works seamlessly to provide an amazing customer experience. What we're doing right now will establish the framework for everything else that follows, such as IoT, AI, mobile checkout, and cashier-less stores. 

What is your favorite aspect of Northwest Arkansas?

There's so much, but I'm a lover of the outdoors, and we have some of the most amazing resources very close by. We have world-class trout-fishing, the breathtaking Buffalo River, incredible lakes, and the impressive tree colors in the fall. There's a lot to explore and love about the area. 

Can you talk about the situation around Walmart services going cloud?

Walmart has been on the cloud journey for many years now. We've found religion in a services architecture, and we're dedicated to building it out across our entire enterprise. 

What is the last book you read?

A series called “Weald Fae Journals” written by a friend of mine who is a law professor at the University of Arkansas and lives in Northwest Arkansas. I enjoy reading Fantasy and “Weald Fae Journals” creates the perfect blend of local lore with fantasy to keep you glued to the pages until the end.

Hear Jeff's talk on March 15 at the Nowhere Developers Conference in Bentonville!