Getting Involved

A long-term goal of IDEAS is to help change the culture of scientific computing to place more emphasis on productive and sustainable software development as a critical and rewarded aspect of overall scientific advancement, rather than focusing only on science results. If you’re of a like mind and want to get involved, there are plenty of opportunities. The more people who are engaged, the bigger the difference we can make for scientific software development!

Activities include:

  • Better Scientific Software ( is a community-driven site with both original content and pointers to external resources focused on software development, productivity, and sustainability.  Contributions are welcome, and are as easy as a GitHub pull request!
  • We organize many events, including the Best Practices for HPC Software Developers webinar series, and tutorials, minisymposia, poster sessions, and birds-of-a-feather sessions at a wide range of conferences and other events, with many different ways to get involved:
    • Join our mailing list for announcements of upcoming webinars and other events
    • Browse our archive of past events (many of which have content online), including the complete archives of the HPC Best Practices webinars
    • Email us to suggest a topic for the HPC Best Practices webinars or volunteer to give a webinar or partner with us in a tutorial
  • The Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (xSDK) is a spin-off of the IDEAS project. Members of the xSDK community are working toward a scientific software ecosystem, including packages developed by diverse, independent teams.  If you develop a numerical software package, consider contributing.  Or have a look at the community policies and consider starting another SDK in an area of interest to you.

Some activities driven by some of our colleagues…

  • The Working Towards Sustainable Software Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE) workshop series meets frequently to discuss the challenges of software for science.
  • Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry
  • The Software Engineering for Computational Science (SE4Science) workshop series usually hold two workshops each year, alternating between software engineering and scientific computing/HPC conferences.
  • The Q&A service Stack Exchange has several sites of interest:
    • Computational Science tends to be more towards methods than software per se, but many interested in IDEAS use the site and contribute.
    • Research Computing has been proposed as another topic in Stack Exchange, and is currently in the development process.  By participating now, you can help shape how it goes forward!
  • The term “Research Software Engineering” is gaining greater recognition as describing a job or career path for many interesting in scientific software, and there is a growing community of RSE organizations around the world.
  • The UK Software Sustainability Institute has been at this longer than IDEAS and has many great resources.
  • also includes a lot of pointers to other places to get involved in the community!