This online panel session addresses challenges in working remotely, with emphasis on issues faced by collaborating teams in computational research.
|Panel Title||Strategies for Working Remotely: Making the transition to virtual software teams|
|Date and Time||May 21, 2020, 03:00 - 4:30 pm EDT (90 minutes)|
|Registration, Information, and Archives||https://www.exascaleproject.org/event/virtualsoftwareteams|
Advance registration is required.
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 bring together several staff members of DOE laboratories, who will speak about experiences in recent transitions from co-located and partially distributed software teams to fully virtual software teams. Topics include challenges, lessons learned, unforeseen benefits, and opportunities to look for from this experience. Panelists will make brief introductory comments followed by open discussion.
- Ashley Barker, Oak Ridge National Laboratories
- Elaine Raybourn, Sandia National Laboratories
- Jay Jay Billings, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Mark Gates, University of Tennessee
- Mahantesh Halappanavar, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Angela Herring, Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Alex Huebl, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
Jay Jay Billings is the group lead for research software engineering at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Aside from leading the group, he works on software for computational physics, scientific workflows, and several Eclipse projects.
Mark Gates is a Research Assistant Professor at the Innovative Computing Laboratory, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Since 2011, Mark has worked in ICL’s linear algebra group, with both local and remote members and collaborators. He manages the ECP SLATE project for distributed dense linear algebra, which like many teams was abruptly thrust into working completely remotely since March.
Mahantesh Halappanavar leads the ExaGraph project in ECP. He is the acting Group Leader for the Data Sciences Group and the Team Lead for the Scalable Data Analytics Team in the Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. In the transition to working remotely, his teams have faced challenges in management, immigration, staff engagement, and secure communication tools. An important lesson we all can learn from this experience is that the manner in which an organization treats its staff and the local community will determine its success in the long term.
Angela Herring is a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She specializes in leading multi-disciplinary, Agile research teams. Currently, she leads two research software teams. One team develops the remap software, Portage (www.github.com/laristra/portage) as well as an interface reconstruction library, Tangram (www.github.com/laristra/tangram). The other team, Lynx, focuses on applications of code to code linking. Angela received a M.S. in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from U.C. Davis in 2005 and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University in 2003.
Axel Huebl is a postdoctoral scholar at Berkeley Lab where he is part of the ECP-WarpX team. Prior to joining a DOE lab, he contributed to open source HPC software for about seven years, establishing development efforts in teams that are fluctuating in availability (e.g. students) or live in multiple time zones. One of his key experiences from this is that communication, transparency of decision processes, documentation and accountability are key for productivity (and happiness) in decentral teams.
Ashley Barker is the Group Leader for the User Assistance and Outreach (UAO) team at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) located at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL). UAO is responsible for facilitating access to OLCF resources, providing training, documentation, and technical support to users, collecting and reporting on user facility data, and acquainting the public with the work conducted at the OLCF through scientific highlights. Ashley is also currently involved in the Exascale Computing Project as the Control Account Manager for training and productivity.
Elaine Raybourn is a social scientist who has worked remotely for a combined total of 14 years while at Sandia National Laboratories: from the UK as a guest researcher at British Telecom; Germany (FhG FIT) and France (INRIA) as a Fellow of the European Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), and most recently from Orlando, Florida as a member of Sandia’s Statistics and Human Systems Group (Applied Cognitive Science) and the IDEAS-ECP productivity project.