Saturday, October 18, 2014

Embracing Technology Change In Scientific Software

“πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει” [Everything changes and nothing stands still]  - Heraclitus of Ephesus.
True 500 BC, this statement for sure holds nowadays in the software world. Whether at micro scale, when replacing a third parties library or continuously refactoring, or at macro scale, when adopting a new language, a framework or making major paradigm shift such as going parallel. Evolution is part of the development cycle.
Change can be planned, when a prototype paves the route for a production software or unexpected, when a technology breakthrough emerges during the lifespan of a project.
Although every domain is concerned by the phenomenon, scientific software raises a couple peculiarities. Often serving research, the purpose of the code itself will pivot in unforeseen directions. Meanwhile, developers, as talented as they might be, rarely come from a software engineering background and sometimes (that might be an understatement) do not consider the software building process as a relevant priority.
Embracing evolution raises challenges in multiple dimensions. We will try to cover both the technical perspective as well as the leadership one.

Contents:  Build To Change - Where (and When) To Go? - Foster Evolution in Your Team.

Kayaking through the ice, to reach our glacier Patagonia, 2000