Discovering and Addressing Social Challenges in the Evolution of Scientific Software Projects

Series: HPC Best Practices Webinars

In recent years scientific software projects have increasingly incorporated state-of-the-art technical best practices like continuous integration into their development cycle. However, many projects still struggle to create and maintain an active and welcoming user/developer community, and there exists little documentation on what makes a scientific software community successful. In this webinar I will introduce my work — as a Better Scientific Software Fellow — to collect typical social challenges and potential solutions that arise during the evolution of a scientific software project. Aimed at current and prospective software maintainers and community leaders, I will discuss topics such as building and maintaining a welcoming community atmosphere, overcoming skepticism of sharing science and software, mediating between users working on conflicting topics or publications, and providing credit and growth opportunities for community members. Finally, I hope to initiate a conversation among project and community leaders about what makes communities successful so that we can learn from each other and improve scientific software development together.


Presenter Bio

Rene Gassmoeller is Project Scientist at the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the interaction between mantle convection and plate tectonic processes, numerical methods for geodynamic modeling, and sustainable software development in the Earth Sciences. He received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Potsdam University in cooperation with the German Research Centre for Geosciences.