Author | New Programmer Editorial Department
“Most of Huawei’s leadership is technically background, starting from the bottom to do it step by step. If you don’t have a technical foundation, you can only follow others in making software. It will be very difficult to lead the industry.” In Huawei Consumer Business Software According to Wang Chenglu, the president of the department, in the current golden age of software, both equipment manufacturers and application manufacturers have huge opportunities.
In "New Programmer", Jiang Tao, the founder & chairman of CSDN and the founding partner of Geekbang Venture Capital, had an exclusive conversation with Wang Chenglu, and invited him to share his success as a leader and management team; as a technical person, improving skills Effective law; as an explorer, the experience and lessons of building basic software.
Accidentally "cross-boundary" to communications, 22 years of work
Jiang Tao: Please briefly introduce your technological growth process.
Wang Chenglu : I started programming when I was a graduate student. At that time, I was studying metal-based composite materials, which included many types. For example, many special materials used in the aerospace field are actually related to metal-based materials. However, in the course of daily professional courses, we often face a big problem, that is, the process of material growth determines the future rigidity and strength of the material. In this process, how to make its craft reproducible?
So, we thought of several options. First, it is based on physical experiments, but we found that the cycle of this method is too long, so we gave up; second, through the simulation software to debug various parameters, test which factors will affect its deformation. Because of this, I started to learn programming, mainly studying simulation systems, and also wrote a system of nearly 50,000 lines of code in Fortran. Up to now, the simulation system we have participated in research and development has also become the basis of some commercial systems.
Jiang Tao: In what year did you enter Huawei and what opportunity did you come to Huawei?
Wang Chenglu : I received the interview notice from Huawei after graduation, and then I joined Huawei. At that time, the idea was quite simple. I tried it with Huawei, but I didn't expect to stick to it for 22 years. When I first arrived at Huawei, I was assigned to the wireless core network department of the wireless product line (hereinafter referred to as the "core network"). The core network is the most core network element in the telecommunications network, and all business exchanges and processing in the telecommunications network are completed by it.
Tao Jiang: Your major is metal-based materials and Huawei’s main business is communications. How did you accomplish this “transformation” in the professional field?
Wang Chenglu : Because my major has little relevance to this field, I have never touched many professional knowledge, such as primitives, messages, and frame structures. During that time, I read books and saw more than 12 o'clock every night, filling up the knowledge of communication, and constantly improving myself by reading the protocol and watching the code of the whole system. In less than a year, I knew the whole communication system very well.
Tao Jiang: At Huawei, how did you pass on your accumulated experience in software and R&D in the past?
Wang Chenglu : Mainly put it on the platform, which I am very concerned about. The platform here refers to the extraction of common products. Just like the products I developed in the core network department before, there are many network elements, including processing signaling, encoding and decoding, etc. If you want to use a single product one by one according to technical requirements To achieve it, the cost will be high. A better solution is to extract these common parts and create a platform. This is the best way to inherit organizational capabilities.
Jiang Tao: It seems that Huawei attaches great importance to this platform capability.
Wang Chenglu : Yes. Because the platform can support Huawei’s many products, Huawei’s mobile phones sold 220 million units a year during the peak period, covering a variety of different models, series, chips, and memory. If there is no platform, these devices will have no support.
"The biggest challenge is the architecture"
Jiang Tao: From the core network of the past to the current HarmonyOS, many people in the outside world may not understand that Huawei's software capabilities have been accumulated for many years. In software development, the most difficult points are mainly reflected in the complex architecture. In your opinion, are there other technical problems?
Wang Chenglu : The core is still the architecture. I think this is also the most lacking in the software industry. The reason is that the "software is not visible". The hardware is at least visible and touchable, but the invisibility of the software brings a huge challenge, often the same problem, everyone's understanding may be very different.
How to solve this problem, I think there is only one way, and that is architecture. In the team, I often mentioned that the architecture must be finalized before the software is developed, because the software architecture is equivalent to a software implementation of the product business logic, and it is equivalent to translating the business logic in a software language. Therefore, when designing the architecture, the core needs to sort out the business logic, and then decompose it along the business logic, so that while the coupling between modules becomes low, the interface will be relatively stable. Otherwise, the software can be changed by anyone and any development process when it is invisible and intangible.
Jiang Tao: Compared with us, foreign countries, do they have an advantage in terms of structure?
Wang Chenglu : I think the advantages of European and American software compared with domestic software are reflected in the system and architecture. If they rely on a single technology, they may not be better than us. But if there is no structure, these single-point technologies are equivalent to scattered sand, piecemeal.
At present, many people want to achieve rapid profitability through software, often by directly combining and using existing products in the market to achieve profitability, so that they can look for the next opportunity. In this way, although the rapid growth of applications brings many opportunities, but it also brings a very big problem, that is, no one considers the underlying things at all. Below this, when you find a new opportunity that requires the support of the underlying architecture, you will be very passive. If the software field does not achieve accumulation at the bottom of the system, it will be difficult for us to create new business opportunities.
The future of HarmonyOS is "smart body"
Tao Jiang: Will the strategy of HarmonyOS change over time? How to treat its living space?
Wang Chenglu: Now HarmonyOS has become more important. Different from the traditional way of using App architecture to develop applications, one of the important features of HarmonyOS is the use of distributed "atomic" capabilities to develop applications. In other words, an application can be understood as a stack of multiple "atoms", and each "atom" can operate independently, which is very similar to the idea of decoupling.
The mobile phone will not be the only carrier on which the HarmonyOS application runs, and the application can rely on any carrier. However, the central position of mobile phones in the next at least 3-5 years is irreplaceable, because mobile phones are still the best in terms of processing power and convenience. Because of this, the landing of HarmonyOS will also have certain constraints, but we are very confident that we can overcome it.
Jiang Tao: Imagine what it will be like after all devices are opened through HarmonyOS?
Wang Chenglu: I hope that consumers are not buying devices one by one, but are able to buy a "smart body" that grows on the base of the device. This smart body is like your twins. When you eat, what it can tell you Eat less; when you exercise, it tells you how much you can't run today, and so on.
The final form is that all devices are compatible with each other and data can be connected together. For example, if I say "Xiaoyi, I am thirsty", maybe I was talking about the watch, and since the watch is connected to the water dispenser, the water dispenser already knows that I am thirsty at this time, and know that I like to drink 35 The warm water in degrees Celsius, so the warm water comes out automatically.
Jiang Tao: This sounds very interesting. What other application scenarios are there to make people's brains open?
Wang Chenglu: A lot. For example, the smart pot, you can imagine that when you add any kind of raw material into the pot, it can test the weight of this material, such as how many grams of soy sauce, salt, and so on. The advantage of this is that everyone can become a chef and make very good dishes. Secondly, all the data is stored on this smart pot device, which has huge potential value. For example, we can record daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual salt consumption. Through these data, we can continuously help users develop good daily routines and eating habits. These are also our goals.
Jiang Tao: In your opinion, how long will it take to realize this idea?
Wang Chenglu: According to the technology and ecological layout I currently envision, I believe that the above application scenarios will not be realized in more than three years.
Jiang Tao: Now that the intelligent body is constantly growing, and finally all devices are compatible and data connected. What kind of opportunities will this bring?
Wang Chenglu : If HarmonyOS is really made, the mobile Internet will have huge business opportunities in the next 10-20 years. It will empower many industries. At the same time, thanks to the richness of the current applications, the huge market, and the complete industrial chain, any ideas you have can be realized soon.
In addition, this will also provide countless opportunities for developers who have no chance in the App field, because it is now possible to realize the mixed packaging and compiling of Android App packages and HarmonyOS App packages, which allows the application to run on Android or on Run on HarmonyOS. In other words, the original developer’s intellectual property rights can be inherited, and the developer can continue to innovate based on this.
In the next ten years, both equipment and applications will have huge opportunities.
Developers ushered in a golden decade
Jiang Tao: After listening to your sharing, the future is indeed exciting. However, more opportunities also place higher requirements on developers. What are the characteristics of outstanding developers in your eyes?
Wang Chenglu : For a good software developer, I personally think that there are two key points: First, the self-driving force must be strong, and it is difficult for a passive person to do a good job in software. Second, continuous learning ability. Although many people worked very hard and learned a lot of theoretical knowledge when they were studying, in fact, they might forget it after two or three years.
Jiang Tao: Nowadays, the new generation of programmers is in the Internet circle wrapped by games and short videos. Compared with programmers in the past, do you think programmers of different eras are different?
Wang Chenglu : Because I know more about Huawei’s employees, I think the younger programmers work harder. Many programmers who have just graduated three to five years ago have developed great habits in school, such as continuing to participate in academic studies. Excellent papers from conferences, research top conferences, etc.
The programmers further forward are more based on their own experience and do not communicate and connect with the outside world. I think this is a big shortcoming for software.
Jiang Tao: How does Huawei train management? Are most managers from technical backgrounds?
Wang Chenglu : Most of them are from technical background, starting from the bottom and doing it step by step. Huawei has given everyone a lot of opportunities to work in different positions. Only by having a clear system structure can we make better decisions. Especially at the business level, communication with everyone can be on the same plane. If, as a manager, you don’t have technical and business foundation, you will only follow in the footsteps of others, and it will be very difficult to get ahead.
Jiang Tao: If you retire in the future, what are your thoughts?
Wang Chenglu: If I retire, I want to be an evangelist and let HarmonyOS take root. Because HarmonyOS is successful, it will fundamentally change the underlying structure of the information industry. In addition, there is one thing I really want to do-to teach.
This article is from "New Programmer 001: The Golden Decade of Developers". Born in 2001, "Programmer" has accompanied countless developers to grow up, and has influenced generations of Chinese technologists. After 20 years, "New Programmer" is back with in-depth content such as the deep thinking of global technical masters and the technical creation of outstanding developers! At the same time, it will present a panoramic view of the core technology ecosystem at home and abroad for all developers.
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