This is a story about a research software engineer within the PalMod (German Climate Modeling Initiative) project. Its aim is to carry out a long-term high-resolution simulation run of the last glacial cycle (from 120 000 years before now until today). The designated model is the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Earth System Model (MPI-ESM), which consists of about 900 000 lines of code and has been developed over decades. The story told is less a scientifc talk, more an up-to-date peek into the machinery behind a grand scientific operational model. It is about the lessons learned during a interdisciplinary work between result oriented software usage and sustainable software development.