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Azure DevOps Podcast

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Podcast sponsor: Clear Measure We are a software architecture company that empowers our client's development teams to be self-sufficient: moving fast, delivering quality, and running their systems with confidence.

Mar 28, 2022

Kevin Kirkus is a Principal Engineer at Intel. He has been there since 1999, designing, building, and testing Intel processors, both the chip and the code that runs the chips. Kevin is a Post-Silicon Validation Architect Lead for multiple Intel Xeon generations and more recently transitioned to Global Post-Silicon Automation Lead for server, client, and device products at Intel Corporation. He has served in various past areas of validation, such as PCIe, socket-interconnect, Platform Configurations, Boot Flows, Fuse, before transitioning to more technical leadership roles in validation architecture and strategy. As a Technical Leader in silicon validation automation, his roles and responsibilities have extended to global standardization and alignment of tools, flows, and methodologies across Intel global product segments (server, client, device), including mentoring environment domain, leads, aligning global sites and strengthening local product sites to excel in automation investments. His technical and leadership experience for validating advanced complex technology has been integral to the success of Intel product teams and their competitive products. He is passionate about developing people and future leaders, building on their strengths, influence, and impact.


Topics of Discussion:

[3:33] What are some high points that lead Kevin to where he is today?

[8:06] Kevin talks about focusing on functional validation execution, and what he likes as a Post-Silicon Validation Architect Lead.

[9:03] Kevin walks us through the process from where the code is embedded, the silicon is made, and there’s a system of trial and error to test if you are on the right track.

[15:33] What are the penalties for the turnaround time?

[15:48] What is the mix of code types that are a part of this?

[17:18] Kevin talks about the concept of fuses and SKUs or stock-keeping units.

[21:12] Kevin talks about the format of the test themselves, the language in which he writes the test cases, and the partnership between the host and target system.

[31:42] Where are test harness codes and firmware loaders stored?

[31:47] Firmware has to be handled a little bit differently; it has to be cross-platform deployment packaging.

[35:20] Most of Intel Xeon’s solutions are proprietary, and their bug tracking is proprietary.

[39:05] How does Kevin coach people to have the technical skills they need in this space?


Mentioned in this Episode:

Architect Tips — New video podcast!

Azure DevOps

Clear Measure (Sponsor)

.NET DevOps for Azure: A Developer’s Guide to DevOps Architecture the Right Way, by Jeffrey Palermo — Available on Amazon!

Jeffrey Palermo’s YouTube

Jeffrey Palermo’s Twitter Follow to stay informed about future events!


Want to Learn More?

Visit AzureDevOps.Show for show notes and additional episodes.



  • “My job starts when they have gotten to the point where it boots up and it’s reaching the point of fetching the operating system code to where we can actually see it in the operating system.” — Kevin [20:02]
  • “If we can deliver a healthy environment to our functional validation team, it gives them a chance to focus their energies on writing tests that actually find the most bugs.” — Kevin [39:54]


Kevin Kirkus: LinkedIn



Intel Xeon