Newsletter – January 2023
Welcome to the January newsletter from The Society of Research Software Engineering! Our bi-monthly newsletter announces new Society initiatives, gathers RSE news, events, blogs, papers and anything else interesting and relevant together in one place. If you would like to add an item or suggest a new section to the next newsletter, submit it via this short form.
Our full, paid-up membership total is 649 as we went to press. The number of people receiving our newsletter, including the 649 members, is ~1200. Not yet a member? Why not join us today?
We welcome people to become members who are not employed as RSEs but do support our mission. We are looking for one sentence, or one paragraph, contributions from such people to highlight the fact that we are about research software engineering and not just research software engineers. Contact us at [email protected].
More from RSECon2022
Five more RSECon2022 videos are now live:
- Ghislain Vaillant shares some of the Successes, pitfalls and lessons learnt from developing a multiyear RSE project.
- Martin O’Reilly, Federico Nanni, and Camila Rangel Smith take us through how the Alan Turing Institute’s RSE team got to where they are now in The long and winding road.
- Paul Caton and Brian Maher discuss how King’s Digital Lab has approached managing their backlog of now-unfunded legacy software in After the grant.
- Nicola Knight chairs a panel exploring ways we can ensure that all researchers’ research data are curated appropriately, and not just those with prestige big data projects, in Research Data Software Infrastructure for the Long Tail
- Neil Jakeman introduces how KDL are starting to take a leading role in project ideation, while giving RSEs more opportunities to develop core competencies, by focusing on specific Research Themes – Autonomous Agendas for RSE Labs
If you’ve missed any, the full RSECon2022 playlist with all 40 videos released so far is available on our YouTube Channel.
Call for Workshop Organizers for US-RSE RSEs in EScience workshop
On the topic of eScience, last year, members of the US-RSE put together the RSEs in eScience workshop as part of eScience 2022. We’d like to do so again this year, and we are looking for members of the international community to be a part of the organizing committee. If you are interested in being on the organizing committee, please send an email to [email protected]. The workshop deadline is 10 February 2023, so please get in touch as soon as possible!
RSE Recognition Awards
You and the RSE community are amazing, oh yes you are! SocRSE would like to recognise and celebrate your project’s achievements and showcase them to the world with an awards scheme. As a community driven initiative, we’re looking for those who may be interested in helping get this off the ground. We’ve already had some light-touch ideas.
Contact us, if you’d like to hear more and be involved [email protected].
RSE Group Annual Reports
At the end of 2022 a number of RSE groups published their annual reports which you can read below:
Let the Society support your RSE event!
Do you have an idea for an event about research software and supports the Society’s mission statement? The Society is here to help, why not submit a request to our Events and Initiatives Fund to help get your event going. You can submit a request via our Google form or contact us for a more informal discussion via [email protected].
We’re looking for more case studies!
We want to show all the shapes and forms that RSEs come in, and all the brilliant work they do and are looking for RSEs willing to work with us to put together case studies. We will send you a set of questions to answer (either career-focused or EDI focused, your choice), and are very happy to have a chat if you are unsure about something or need help writing up your answers. Email [email protected] if you are interested or have any questions.
Registration open for Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop
The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop series brings together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, policy makers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. Collaborations Workshop 2023 (CW23) will take place as a hybrid event from Tuesday 2 May – Thursday 4 May 2023.
The theme of CW23 is Sustainable Career Development for those in the research software community: looking after your software, your career, and yourself. The theme encompasses
- Technical development: including software sustainability, software products and digital tools, infrastructure and documentation, software development skills, and training.
- Career development: including career pathways related to research software, how to get credit for your work, mentorship, and inclusive leadership to support team work.
- Personal development: including sustaining your mental health, wellbeing and finding community.
Book a ticket now via EventBrite.
Research Software Engineering in Data & AI Workshop 2023
The Alan Turing Institute and the University of Warwick are collaborating to hold a workshop for Research Software Engineers (RSEs) and other Digital Research Infrastructure professionals (DRIs) who support research in the field of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
This residential workshop will take place 15-17 February at Warwick Conferences. It is open to staff from any UK research institution to apply for a fully funded place.
The RSE in Data & AI Workshop will provide an excellent opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange.
First Call for Papers
19th IEEE eScience Conference (eScience 2023), October 9-13, 2023, St. Raphael Resort, Limassol, Cyprus
eScience 2023 provides an interdisciplinary forum for researchers, developers, and users of eScience applications and enabling IT technologies. Its objective is to promote and encourage all aspects of eScience and its associated technologies, applications, algorithms, and tools, with a strong focus on practical solutions and open challenges. The conference welcomes conceptualization, implementation, and experience contributions enabling and driving innovation in data- and compute-intensive research across all disciplines, from the physical and biological sciences to the social sciences, arts, and humanities; encompassing artificial intelligence and machine learning methods; and targeting a broad spectrum of architectures, including HPC, Cloud, and IoT.
The overarching theme of the eScience 2023 conference is “open eScience”. This year, the conference is promoting four additional key topics:
- Computational Science for sustainable development
- Research Infrastructures for eScience
- Continuum Computing: Convergence between Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT)
The conference is soliciting two types of contributions:
- Full papers (10 pages) presenting previously unpublished research achievements or eScience experiences and solutions
- Posters (2 pages) showcasing early-stage results and innovations
Read the full call for papers for more details.
What Do We (Not) Know About Research Software Engineering?
A.-L. Lamprecht, C. Martinez-Ortiz, M. Barker, S. L. Bartholomew, J. Barton, N. Chue Hong, J. Cohen, S. Druskat, J. Forest, J.-N. Grad, D. S. Katz, R. Richardson, R. Rosca D. Schulte, A. Struck, M. Weinzierl, “What Do We (Not) Know About Research Software Engineering?,” Journal of Open Research Software, v.10(1): p. 11, 2022.
As recognition of the vital importance of software for contemporary research is increasing, Research Software Engineering (RSE) is emerging as a discipline in its own right. We present an inventory of relevant research questions about RSE as a basis for future research and initiatives to advance the field, highlighting selected literature and initiatives. This work is the outcome of a RSE community workshop held as part of the 2020 International Series of Online Research Software Events (SORSE) which identified and prioritized key questions across three overlapping themes: people, policy and infrastructure. Almost half of the questions focus on the people theme, which addresses issues related to career paths, recognition and motivation; recruitment and retention; skills; and diversity, equity and inclusion. However, the people and policy themes have the same number of prioritized questions. We recommend that different types of stakeholders, such as RSE employers and policy makers, take responsibility for supporting or encouraging answering of these questions by organizations that have an interest. Initiatives such as the International Council of RSE Associations should also be engaged in this work.
Code For Thought
Peter Schmidt writes:
Code for Thought is back wishing you all a Happy 2023! To kick off this season, here my interview with Nicolas Thiery from Paris Uni on how Jupyter can be used effectively in the classroom and why we need education software engineers as well as RSEs.
Good beautiful morning, Happy New Year #rseng! We are kicking off the #DeveloperStories Podcast 2023 with an awesome episode on container security and related topics! My guest is Brandon Mitchell, who is not only a Docker captain, but an exceptional and kind person. This episode is important because we talk about what it means to have reproducible builds for containers, and some of the exciting up-and-coming work. You can also listen on Spotify or check out the show notes directly.
Peter has also penned a blog post looking back at 2 years of the Code for Though Podcast.
- John Hodrien, RSE from the University of Leeds, has put together an article exploring using Spack within WSL2 to build and containerise research software for use on HPC. It was a quite a journey!
- In her latest blog, Gemma Turon discusses the correlation between research software and infectious disease research after her participation at the H3DSymposium hosted by H3D_UCT.
- Jannetta Steyn reflects on teaching an Internet of Things workshop at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.
- Meag Doherty writes “I’m not paid to make #GUIs” and other barriers to positive user experiences.”
- RSECon22 Q&A Extra time! Here’s an extended Q&A for a number of talks from RSECon22 where there wasn’t time for all the questions at the conference and answers couldn’t be included on YouTube.
Awareness of the RSE role and the RSE community is growing around the world with new national groups being created all the time. In this section, we introduce these groups and raise awareness of their success. The Society supports new groups and collaborates with representatives from them on various initiatives (papers, international workshops).
In January 2021, the International Council of RSE Associations was founded as a forum to communicate and formally meet to ensure cohesion between associations and to provide a platform for open discussion around international issues and affairs.
(In alphabetical order)
AU/NZ RSE Group
Belgium Research Software Engineers Community
Join the (informal) chats of the Belgium Research Software Engineers community on https://gitter.im/be-rse/.
Digital Research Alliance of Canada / Alliance de recherche numerique du Canada
Responsibility for Research Software in Canada is transitioning from CANARIE to The Alliance.
Dates for the joined monthly calls of the Open Science und Research Software Engineering communities can be found here.
New meet-ups are scheduled for NL RSE. Interested in proposing a workshop, talk, or some other contribution? Get in touch!
Research Software Hour…Hosted by members of the Nordic-RSE community, this continues weekly on Twitch. Research Software Hour is an online stream/show about scientific computing and research software. It is designed to provide the skills typically picked up via informal networks; each week, they do some combination of exploring new tools, analyzing and improving someone’s research code, and discussion. Watchers can take part and contribute code to us which they analyze and discuss on stream. They broadcast on Twitch Thursdays at 20:30 Oslo time / 21:30 Helsinki time.
Upcoming and recurring events can be found on the events website!