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Stefan Heule,


Stefan obtained his PhD from Stanford University in the area of Programming Languages. He now works at Google in the Network Infrastructure team under Amin Vahdat, where he leverages the P4 programming language to improve how switches are controlled and tested.

How long have been working on the P4 Project?

I have started actively working with P4 in summer 2018.

What contributions have you made in the past to the P4 Project?

I am a member of the P4 Language Design Working Group and API Working Group, where I actively help evaluate proposals, contribute to discussions as well as making contributions myself. Some of my specific contributions are:

  • Gave a keynote at the P4 Expert Roundtable Series
  • Completely rewritten the specification of master arbitration for P4Runtime after we noticed that it was broken in earlier versions of the
  • Designed and implemented p4-constraints, a language to express additional restrictions on what table entries are valid for a given P4 table (together with Steffen Smolka, Konstantin Weitz and Nate Foster).
  • Presented our work on automated testing techniques for P4 based switches at several venues (e.g. P4 workshop at SIGCOMM and at Stanford, ONF Connect).
  • Proposed and added the new match kind optional (proposal, addition to v1model and P4RT).
  • Proposed the new match kind set (work in progress, proposal).
  • Championed the addition of Bazel build files to p4c.
  • Presented two ideas for the future of P4 at the P4 LDWG Brainstorming
  • Various comments, issues and reviews for p4c, p4-spec and p4runtime.

What are you actively working on in the P4 Project?

I am an active user of P4: At Google I write the P4 programs that describe the behavior of our datacenter switches, implement and use P4Runtime to control these switches and build automated testing techniques that are enabled by P4.

I am also actively contributing and plan on continuing to contribute to the P4 ecosystem. This includes smaller contributions like adding the set match kind, but also bigger efforts like open sourcing the P4 automated validation efforts I have presented publicly before and making it available to the community.

Why do you feel you would be a good candidate for this position?

As both a user of P4 and contributor to P4 I have a good understanding of the current state of P4, the different use cases various stakeholders have and the challenges that are faced.

Furthermore, I am invested in continuing to improve not just the P4 language, but also the entire ecosystem around it.

Are there any changes you would like to bring to the community if elected into this position?

If elected I will largely view my role as supporting and continuing the efforts already underway. I want to ensure P4 continues to solve real problems, has a thriving ecosystem around it and is built around an inclusive, welcoming community.

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