Publications / Conference Poster

Talk to me: A case study on coordinating expertise in large-scale scientific software projects

Milewicz, Reed M.; Raybourn, Elaine M.

Large-scale collaborative scientific software projects require more knowledge than any one person typically possesses. This makes coordination and communication of knowledge and expertise a key factor in creating and safeguarding software quality, without which we cannot have sustainable software. However, as researchers attempt to scale up the production of software, they are confronted by problems of awareness and understanding. This presents an opportunity to develop better practices and tools that directly address these challenges. To that end, we conducted a case study of developers of the Trilinos project. We surveyed the software development challenges addressed and show how those problems are connected with what they know and how they communicate. Based on these data, we provide a series of practicable recommendations, and outline a path forward for future research.