Testing and Code Review Practices in Research Software Development

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. The September webinar is titled Testing and Code Review Practices in Research Software Development, and will be presented by Nasir Eisty (California Polytechnic State University). The webinar will take place on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 1:00 pm ET.


Software quality in a research context is essential because research software is used in mission-critical situations, decision making, and computation of evidence for research publications. This webinar will cover the use of two software quality practices in the development of research software: software testing and peer code review. These practices in software development can lead to both improved scientific results through higher quality software in the short term and more maintainable software in the long term. While these practices are essential for any type of software, developers of research software typically do not use peer code review and software testing as frequently as they could for maximum impact. The presenter will discuss the motivation, challenges, barriers, and necessary improvements to make the practices effective for research software development, based on studies of the research software community conducted via interviews, surveys, workshops, and tutorials.