Welcome to the Year of Trying New Things (blogging edition)
Cancer pipelines, copy number variation, GATK in the Cloud... We have lots of exciting new features coming down the pipe, and you'll be hearing more about all of them in the weeks and months to come. There are one or two announcements that I guarantee will knock some socks off!
Yet in all that excitement (alright, I'm the excited one, you're just trying to see through the thick mist of vaporware I just spouted) let's not forget that we currently have in hand a toolkit that is used by thousands of you every day, containing dozens of tools that perform complicated operations on ridiculously large datasets.
Are they perfect? No. They're pretty darn good, if we do say so ourselves, but they have their quirks. Sometimes even bugs. Aah! The humanity!
So let's talk about problems. Let's talk about what trips people up and bogs down genomic research on a day-to-day basis. Setting aside the big stuff, like compute resources, scaling and performance blockers, which are all interesting topics for another time... Let's talk about all the insultingly small, aggravating, pulling-your-hair-out, this-should-work-why-isn't-this-stupid-thing-working kind of problems.
Because you know what, most of them are solved problems. Yes, I'm saying that most of your problems (related to GATK, that is -- any unresolved childhood issues are yours to deal with) have a solution already, sitting either in the collective consciousness of the GATK team, or in a deep dark corner of our humongous and reportedly intimidating pile of documentation.
We've made some important headway dealing with this through the forum, but I think we can do better. By blogging.
No, I'm serious. The blog format is great for communicating the kind of content that we're currently having a hard time getting across effectively. If you're not convinced, I'm not going explain why I think so; I'm just going to show you. Or rather, I'm going to let my team show you.
Comms Team, assemble!
Technically we've had this blog for years, but we've only really used it to do what -- announce releases, workshop schedules, and post holiday notices? That's not a blog, that's a bulletin board. Which is so nineties.