Strategies for Working Remotely: Making the Transition to Virtual Software Teams

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and need for many to transition to unplanned remote work, the IDEAS-ECP project has launched the panel series Strategies for Working Remotely, which explores important topics in this area. The next panel discussion in the series was titled, “Making the Transition to Virtual Software Teams”.

Abstract: Scientific software teams are now working remotely and collaborating virtually in response to COVID-19 social distancing practices. In many cases, teams were co-located, and their transition unplanned. As working remotely has suddenly become a near-universal experience for staff members of research organizations, many software teams are now functioning as completely virtual teams—geographically dispersed and interacting only through electronic communication rather than in person.  In the third installment of this IDEAS-ECP panel discussion series, we brought together several staff members of DOE laboratories, who spoke about experiences in recent transitions from co-located and partially distributed software teams to fully virtual software teams. Topics included challenges, lessons learned, unforeseen benefits, and opportunities to look for from this experience. Panelists made brief introductory comments followed by open discussion.


  • Jay Jay Billings, ORNL
  • Mark Gates, University of Tennessee
  • Mahantesh Halappanavar, PPNL
  • Angela Herring, LANL
  • Axel Huebl, LBNL


  • Ashley Barker, ORNL
  • Elaine Raybourn, SNL