Bringing Best Practices to a Long-Lived Production Code

January 17, 2018 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Osni Marques

The IDEAS Productivity project, in partnership with the DOE Computing Facilities of the ALCF, OLCF, and NERSC and the DOE Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has resumed the webinar series on Best Practices for HPC Software Developers, which we began in 2016.

As part of this series, we offer one-hour webinars on topics in scientific software development and high-performance computing, approximately once a month. Participation is free and open to the public, but registration is required for each event.

The next webinar in the series was titled “Bringing Best Practices to a Long-Lived Production Code“, and was presented by Dr. Charles R. Ferenbaugh of Los Alamos National Laboratory.  The webinar took place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm ET.


How can you introduce best software practices to a long-lived scientific production code, with a significant user base, that has “gotten along fine” for years doing things its own way?  Often developers in such projects must struggle with overly complex code, inadequate documentation, little or no software process, and a “just write the code fast” culture; these are challenges to software quality that are generally not issues for new projects.  In this presentation the speaker discussed some of the peculiar problems faced by long-lived codes, and present a case study of how  they are dealing with these issues in the xRage code at LANL.