As computer architectures become increasingly complex, hand-tuning compiler heuristics becomes increasingly tedious and time consuming for compiler developers. This paper presents a case study that uses a genetic algorithm to learn a compiler policy. The target policy implicitly balances communication and contention among processing elements of the TRIPS processor, a physically realized prototype chip. We learn specialized policies for individual programs as well as general policies that work well across all programs. We also employ a two-stage method that first classifies the code being compiled based on salient characteristics, and then chooses a specialized policy based on that classification.This work is particularly interesting for the AI community because it 1) emphasizes the need for increased collaboration between AI researchers and researchers from other branches of computer science and 2) discusses a machine learning setup where training on the custom hardware requires weeks of training, rather than the more typical minutes or hours.