Collaborative experience between scientific software projects using Agile Scrum development

The SCiMMA and SNEWS Collaborations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Developing sustainable software for the scientific community requires expertise in software engineering and domain science. This can be challenging due to the unique needs of scientific software, the insufficient resources for software engineering practices in the scientific community, and the complexity of developing for evolving scientific contexts. While open-source software can partially address these concerns, it can introduce complicating dependencies and delay development. These issues can be reduced if scientists and software developers collaborate. We present a case study wherein scientists from the SuperNova Early Warning System collaborated with software developers from the Scalable Cyberinfrastructure for Multi-Messenger Astrophysics project. The collaboration addressed the difficulties of open-source software development, but presented additional risks to each team. For the scientists, there was a concern of relying on external systems and lacking control in the development process. For the developers, there was a risk in supporting a user-group while maintaining core development. These issues were mitigated by creating a second Agile Scrum framework in parallel with the developers' ongoing Agile Scrum process. This Agile collaboration promoted communication, ensured that the scientists had an active role in development, and allowed the developers to evaluate and implement the scientists' software requirements. The collaboration provided benefits for each group: the scientists actuated their development by using an existing platform, and the developers utilized the scientists' use-case to improve their systems. This case study suggests that scientists and software developers can avoid scientific computing issues by collaborating and that Agile Scrum methods can address emergent concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2077-2096
Number of pages20
JournalSoftware - Practice and Experience
Volume52
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The alphabetic‐order author list reflects a variety of contributions from members in the SCiMMA and SNEWS organizations. Particular contributions to this article and the SCiMMA‐SNEWS collaboration are noted as follows. BC, ALB, and RW made primary contributions to the text. BC and ALB led the demonstrations after each phase of development. BC was the Scrum Master who organized and led the development sprints, supported software development during Phases 1 and 2, and implemented the software on cloud infrastructure. ALB served as a SNEWS product owner, supported software development during Phases 0, 1 and 2, and contributed substantially during development sprints. YX led the SNEWS software development process during Phase 0, 1 and 2. PG led the SCiMMA software development during Phases 1 and 2. Together, PG and YX contributed substantially during development sprints. MWL supported software development during Phases 1 and 2, and implemented the software on prototype infrastructure. AH served as a SNEWS product owner and provided substantial input during development sprints. AB, AH, MJ, RFL, CDT and RW each provided substantial input during progress reviews after each phase. AB, MJ, and CDT proposed the initial collaboration at a National Science Foundation “Harnessing the Data Revolution” grant proposal meeting.

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the National Science Foundation “Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi‐Messenger Astrophysics” program: “WoU‐MMA: Collaborative Research: A Next‐Generation SuperNova Early Warning System for Multimessenger Astronomy” through grants 1914448, 1914409, 1914447, 1914418, 1914410, 1914416, 1914426; and via the “HDR‐Harnessing the Data Revolution” program, grant 1940209; and with the “Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure” through grant 1934752.

Funding Information:
information Division of Physics, Grant/Award Numbers: 1914409; 1914410; 1914416; 1914418; 1914426; 1914447; 1914448; Office of Cyberinfrastructure, Grant/Award Numbers: 1934752; 1940209This work is supported by the National Science Foundation “Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics” program: “WoU-MMA: Collaborative Research: A Next-Generation SuperNova Early Warning System for Multimessenger Astronomy” through grants 1914448, 1914409, 1914447, 1914418, 1914410, 1914416, 1914426; and via the “HDR-Harnessing the Data Revolution” program, grant 1940209; and with the “Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure” through grant 1934752.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Software: Practice and Experience published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • Agile
  • cyberinfrastructure
  • multimessenger astrophysics
  • scientific computing
  • software development

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Collaborative experience between scientific software projects using Agile Scrum development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this