John Detlefs Programmer

Hello World

Hello world! I recently was given the amazing opportunity to contribute to MDAnalysis, an open source Molecular Dynamics simulation Analysis project through the Google Summer of Code initiative. I’ve been encouraged to maintain a blog by those giving me this opportunity so I’ll start things off by explaining how I got this great summer job.

To summarize it quickly, Google sponsors a program in which college students apply to work on projects for open source software organizations. I was very lucky to have my research advisor, Dr. Ashley Ringer McDonald, encourage me to apply. I satisfied the first application requirement by learning how to use git and closing an issue on the MDAnalysis Github page. After that, I spent about 40 hours of concentrated effort over spring break studying dimensionality reduction and molecular dynamics in order to write a coherent application. By turning in a rough draft early I ensured the process was iterative; the contributors to MDAnalysis were very helpful with their critiques of my application.

After turning in my final application, the process didn’t really stop. I made sure to keep making pull requests and to learn more about development workflow. I have learned so much about workflow and how to get over the dread of starting a pull request in the past few months.

And then I got the news! I had been accepted to the Google Summer of Code! I was and still am extremely excited. With that being said, success made me lazy and somewhat complacent. Recently, I have been doing the bare minimum in terms of work and that is about to change. Even if no one is reading this, consider this blog as the first step in accountability for the rest of the summer. I will be using this to keep a record of everything I am working on day to day.

With the exception of this introduction post, every post will attempt to keep a focus on a particular issue. I might write a post about a topic related to my Summer of Code work, or something related to my many other interests. I endeavor to remain positive and thoughtful, I will work on my clear overuse of commas, and I will try to make my readers laugh.

I look forward to keeping this up! JD out.