The Hail lab meetings are fun, but I feel like there is a need for regular meetings where we can explore specific topics in more depth. I talked to Cotton about this, and he agreed, so I’ll try to get the ball rolling. I would like to gauge:
- People’s willingness to add more weekly meetings to their schedule.
- What topics have the most interest.
Some possible topics:
- Learning C++
- General software engineering best practices
- Distributed computing
I’m currently most interested in the first two, and if there’s interest I would volunteer to organize them. I’m also very interested in learning more about distributed computing, but I don’t currently feel up to leading that discussion.
Most of us will probably need to learn at least some C++ in the near future, so I think there would be a lot of value in getting together to discuss. I also think this would be a good opportunity for us as a group to come to a preliminary consensus on things like code style, what tools to use like test frameworks, static analyzers, etc., and what libraries to use. Some of these things get harder to change as the established codebase grows, so it would be good to start the discussion early. Also, C++ is a huge language, and I think we’ll be much more productive learning it together rather than independently.
Similarly with software engineering practices, I think we would benefit from starting a discussion and beginning to form a consensus on what expectations we have for new code contributions. For one thing, I think code review would be more productive if we’re helping each other meet the goals we’ve previously agreed to together, and if we’re all on the same page about why those goals are worth the time and effort.
Please share whether you would be interested in participating in any of these groups, as well as suggestions for other topics.