Just like on a baseball field, a talented, supportive, and dedicated team in the workplace is an important contributor to success. LLNL software developer Chris Moussa knows this well.

As a member of the Flux team in Livermore Computing (LC), Moussa says he is part of the ultimate team. Flux is the next-generation resource manager for Livermore’s computing complex, and it will be a critical component of El Capitan when it comes online in 2024. Moussa is responsible for developing Flux’s job accounting system, which tracks user, bank, and job data on LC systems.

“One of the things I love about working on Flux is seeing all the different components that make up its framework come together and function as a system for our users,” he says. “It’s also very rewarding to see Flux help solve complex problems across many scientific domains.” A recent example: Flux enabled the Multiscale Machine-Learned Modeling Infrastructure(MuMMI) project to successfully execute its complex scientific workflow for cancer research on the Lab’s Sierra supercomputer. (Both MuMMI and Flux are past R&D 100 award winners.)

Moussa joined the Lab full-time in 2019, after graduating with a degree in computer science from San Diego State University. But LLNL was not an entirely unfamiliar gig; Moussa grew up in Livermore and had interned at the Lab for three previous summers. “I enjoyed my internships and the projects I worked on,” he says. “When it came to choosing a job after college, what set the Lab apart were the people, the work environment, and the culture,” he says. “I love getting to hear and learn about what others are working on because I know that everyone is contributing to something greater together.”

In the last couple of years, Moussa’s plate has been full. In addition to his job on the Flux team, he has taken on several volunteer opportunities both at work and in the community. At the Lab, he co-led LC’s new employee group, and he has helped organize Computing’s summer hackathons.

Moussa says he takes on these supplemental roles because he likes to be challenged and is looking for ways to be a well-rounded employee: “These opportunities require a slightly different set of skills than those I use as a software developer. I appreciate that.”

Moussa has also recently taken on a significant mentorship role outside of work. Last winter, he answered a call from his former high school baseball coach asking if he would be willing to join the coaching staff. It was a call made to the right person at the right time. And that is how Moussa found himself back on the baseball field this spring as a Junior Varsity assistant baseball coach at Granada High School in Livermore.

The team practices 34 days a week and has 23 games a week. Moussa is there for it all.

“It has been such a positive experience, it doesn’t feel like a big time commitment,” Moussa says. “It’s not altogether different from LC and the Lab in that the players and other coaches love being there and helping each other get better every day. You can feel it the minute you step onto the field.”

“The best thing about Coach Moussa is he creates a fun, positive environment,” says Bryce Willis, a sophomore baseball player at Granada. “He jokes around with us, but he also knows what he’s talking about.”

While taking on the responsibility of coaching, Moussa was also wrapping up a Master’s Degree in engineering with a concentration in data science, which he completed in March 2024, utilizing the Lab’s Education Assistance Program. His thesisand this should come as no surprisewas creating a prediction model for Major League Baseball Hall of Fame candidates.

“Being able to keep baseball in my life in multiple ways has been fun and fulfilling,” Moussa says. “Balancing school, work, and coaching presented its fair share of challenges,” he admits, “but having a set daily routine helped me avoid feeling overwhelmed or overly stressed. There were weeks and days that felt long, but I have a great support system in both my coworkers and my family.” 

Moussa says he’s enjoying having a bit more free time these days. You can find him back playing golf with friends, at the gym, reading, and, of course, spending time at the baseball field.

—Deanna Willlis