NASA Creates Software Development Competition

Author: U.S. News University Connection
NASA Software Engineering

As a result of rapid industry growth through 2018, job prospects for computer software engineers should be excellent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those with practical experience and at least a bachelor's degree in software engineering or a computer-related field should have the best opportunities.

In an effort to encourage more adults to pursue careers in this field, Harvard University has established the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), which will enable software developers to compete with each other to create the best computer code for NASA systems, according to a press release. The NTL provides an online virtual facility for researchers who have a complex data processing challenge to "order" a solution, just like they would order laboratory tests.

"NASA is at the forefront of this cutting edge approach," said Jason Crusan, chief technologist for space operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We want to advance knowledge of how to manage these tournaments and gain solutions to technical mission requirements with real world results for operational and future programs."

This approach, which is often referred to as "crowd sourcing" or "broadcast search," can provide researchers with multiple solutions to complex queries.