Stephan Petit began his career in 1995 at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, located in Geneva, Switzerland. He is now in charge of a team of software engineers and students delivering applications and tools to the laboratory and beyond. One of these tools is the Engineering and Equipment Data Management System, also known as the CERN EDMS. Projects like CERN s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have a lifetime of 40 years or more. The EDMS is the digital engineering memory of the laboratory. More than a million documents relating to more than a million pieces of equipment are stored in the EDMS, which is also used as CERN s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Asset Tracking system. EDMS is based almost entirely on PL/SQL and is intended to have a lifetime at least as long as the LHC.
Stephan and his team of have been polishing coding conventions and best practices in PL/SQL in order to meet their very interesting mix of challenges: maintainability over decades, reliability, efficient error handling, scalability, and reusability of the modules. These challenges are compounded by the frequent rotation of team members, most of whom are students only temporarily at CERN. The oldest piece of code was written in 1995 and is still in use with success! Apart from polishing PL/SQL, Stephan also enjoys being on stage from time to time, as rock band singer at the CERN's rock & roll summer festival, or as actor in various plays.