Producing scientific software is a challenge. The Exascale Computing Project, in particular, encompasses the confluence of disruptive changes in computing architectures and new opportunities (and demands) for greatly improved simulation capabilities, especially through coupling physics and scales. At the same time, computational science and engineering (CSE), as well as other areas of science, are experiencing increasing focus on scientific reproducibility and software quality.
Computer architecture changes require new software design and implementation strategies, including significant refactoring of existing code. Reproducibility demands require more rigor across the entire software endeavor. Code coupling requires aggregate team interactions including integration of software processes and practices. These challenges demand large investments in scientific software development and improved practices. Focusing on improved developer productivity and software sustainability is both urgent and essential.
This half-day tutorial distills multi-project and multi-years experience from members of the IDEAS Productivity project and the creators of the BSSw.io community website. The tutorial will provide information about software practices, processes, and tools explicitly tailored for CSE. Topics to be covered include: Agile methodologies and tools, software design and refactoring, testing and test-driven development (TDD), and Git workflows for teams. Material will be mostly at the beginner and intermediate levels. There will also be opportunities to discuss topics raised by the audience.
We are proposing a half-day variant of our Better Scientific Software tutorial, which we have been presenting and refining since 2016 at venues including ATPESC (2016-2019), SC (2016-2019), SIAM CSE (2017), and prior ECP AMs (2018-2019). The proposed set of topics was developed in discussion with Ashley Barkey, but we have other modules we could present instead (or in addition), if the committee recommends. Options include (in no particular order): reproducibility, licensing, documentation strategies, code coverage, requirements gathering.
This tutorial will be complementary (not overlapping) with other activities proposed by the IDEAS team, as well as the Continuous Integration team.