JuliaParis: Electronic structure simulations using Julia

Yesterday we had the first instance of the Julia Paris Meetup. As the name suggests a couple of us Julia enthusiasts in the French capital got together for one evening of talks and chatting about everyone's favourite programming language. It was a great occasion to finally meet some people in person and gather around for some technical chit-chat till the late hours at one of the bars of the 11th arrondissement after the talks.

I myself was pretty excited about the evening and not quite sure what kind of people to expect. Unsurprisingly most people, who turned up had an academic background with focus on number crunching of some sort, mostly high-performance linear algebra or optimisation problems. To my big surprise, the number of people working in a industrial context was a lot larger than I expected, even though most did not use the language to a large extend in their everyday work. Still, after the evening I am yet again convinced that Julia is spreading beyond dusty desks in universities. Certainly, a great part in this plays the dedicated community of people, willing to invest a Sunday evening here and there to work on just the very thing required to advance the language and the Julia ecosystem step by step. Even though this has already been clear to me to some extent before Thursday, actually meeting the community and listening to stories and experiences from the Julia trenches, make the whole impression more vivid. I am already looking forward to the next meeting (details as always on https://julia-users-paris.github.io).

On that note, I was very happy, that I had the chance to play an active part in the evening by being one of the first to present some stories of my own. Naturally I talked about my endeavours with Julia while developing the DFTK code. Since I was not too sure about the audience, I tried to get across what makes Julia an ideal language for our efforts, what things we are currently working on and what will be our focus next and how we expect Julia to help. I'm not going to repeat the details about DFTK here, because these can be found in a previous article. See also the second half of this article. The slides of my talk can be downloaded here as usual:

Electronic-structure simulations using Julia (Slides 1st Julia Paris Meetup)