Dylan McReynolds joined the ALS Computing Program in February. After spending 25 years working in industry, he is excited to meet beamline scientists and users to understand and support their software needs.
Welcome to the ALS! What is your role here?
I’m a computer systems engineer working for Alex Hexemer and the ALS Computing Program. We’re working to build tools to help with beamline science data—tools to help move the data to places for processing or storage, and tools to help people look at their data over time. We’re writing the software and building the infrastructure, working primarily with beamline scientists to find out what their needs and their users’ needs are. We know that a few of the beamlines have very specific and very huge needs; not all beamlines will. There’s a strong interest in making sure that the large data needs of some of the current and future beamlines that are getting upgraded in ALS-U are taken care of; some of the beamlines are going to be spitting out ginormous amounts of data.
We aim to build a tool set where beamline scientists and users can use all or part of what we have available and plug their data into the infrastructure that we’re building. We are working closely with CAMERA, NERSC, and Lab Science IT on this common goal.
Where were you before you came to the ALS?
I’ve worked in industry the last 25 years. I think Alex was hoping to get some fresh perspective. I have worked with a variety of large integrated systems and in a variety of industries, from hospital information systems to medical devices that were connected to the internet. I’ve done core software and software integration. This applies to the ALS, which has complicated data movement and processing needs.
I came as a referral from Andy Doran. Andy and I both grew up in Berkeley and have been friends since we were three. Every year or so, he would forward me a job rec from LBL and ask, “Is this what you do?” Eventually, I got one that looked like it matched my skills, so I applied for it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m an avid cyclist and runner. I used to be a competitive cyclist, but not so much anymore. I used to race on the road, velodrome, and mountain bikes. They kind of feed off each other a little bit. I’ve kind of switched over to running over the last couple of years because you can get more exercise in less time.