A cast of thousands: How the IDEAS Productivity project has advanced software productivity and sustainability

November 8, 2023 @ 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), organizes the webinar series on Best Practices for HPC Software Developers.

As part of this series, we offer one-hour webinars on topics in scientific software development and high-performance computing, approximately once a month. The November webinar is titled A cast of thousands: How the IDEAS Productivity project has advanced software productivity and sustainability; and will be presented by David Bernholdt (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). The webinar will take place on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, at 1:00 pm ET.


The US Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has been an unprecedented effort to establish a software ecosystem spanning 24 scientific applications, 6 co-design centers, and the supporting software technologies needed to enable leading-edge computational science and engineering research on the world’s first generation of exascale computers. ECP also presented an unprecedented challenge from the standpoint of developer productivity and the sustainability of all of that software, which led to the establishment in 2017 of the second instance of the IDEAS Productivity project, IDEAS-ECP.

Considering the scale of the ECP, involving nearly one thousand people in total, members of the IDEAS-ECP project had to think creatively about how to help so many software teams across the ECP “up their game” with respect to their software practices. This webinar will describe some of the strategies that the IDEAS team has used to pursue this goal and some of the impacts our work has had—as we are partnering with the ECP and the broader community to reduce technical risk, improve overall scientific productivity, and build a firm foundation for tackling even greater challenges in next-generation computation science.

We will wrap up with some “lessons learned” from the IDEAS experience about software stewardship and briefly consider some of the possible futures for the DOE scientific software community.