Posted in 2019

We are Xdev!

More than a year ago, Matthew Long and I started shopping around the idea that a lot of what we do here at NCAR, as well as how we do it, needed a bit of a facelift. Our pitch was simple: As an institution that supports the geoscientific community by providing valuable datasets, supercomputing facilities, and computer models, NCAR needs to exemplify modern best practices in the development and use of these resources. We took inspiration from the remarkably effective Pangeo community, which continues to show enormous success with Open Source development when coupled with modern software best practices, and we started to develop a plan of how to help shift, albeit slowly, both NCAR and—though collaboration with the Pangeo community—the geoscience community toward a better future.

To implement our plan, Matt and I started to see how much benefit to NCAR it could be to have a small, Agile team that was dedicated to prototyping new technologies for the benefit of the rest of the organization and the rest of the geoscience community, as a whole, like the UK Met Office’s Informatics Lab. However, instead of just churning out technology, this group would also serve as an example to the rest of NCAR on how (and why) to use modern best practices (GitHub, continuous integration, test-driven development, etc.) for scientific software development. …and for science itself!

Read more ...

The Significance of Time

Time is relative, as my coworker Anderson likes to remind me every time manipulating this coordinate proves to be relatively difficult.

This post is to be the first in a series of my struggles coming from an atmospheric science background and transitioning into software. My hope is that if I detail pain points and headaches I encounter along my journey, you won’t have to.

Read more ...