Newsletter – October 2022
Welcome to the October 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.
We are at 624 paid-up members. Not yet a member? Why not join us?
The new trustees are now settled into their roles, alongside the continuing trustees. Read all about it on our governance page. For the first time, the role of vice president is being shared between two (new) trustees. One of our continuing trustees – Jamie Quinn – will be at SuperComputing (SC22) in the States this November. Although he is there as a representative of University College London, feel free to chat with him about all things SocRSE if you are attending too.
Society Annual General Meeting – Wednesday 7th September 2022
This was held as part of RSECon22 at Newcastle in September. If you missed it, here is a recording of the event.
SocRSE’s Mentoring Scheme signup is still open. It starts on late January 2023. If you’re interested in mentoring others, or a current member interested in mentoring, let us know! Express interest via the form by the 10th Nov 2022 and we’ll send you the full application to join. We’re particularly keen to get more mentors.
RSECon2023 Planning Begins
If you enjoyed RSECon in 2022 and want to help make it happen in 2023, and/or thought things could have been done differently, then please join the conference organising committee for RSECon23, in the week of the 4th-8th September 2023 with Programme Chair @edbennett. In addition to the previous posts, this year we’ll be having a Remote Chair, to help us plan and implement a remote or hybrid offering.
If you missed our great conference in Newcastle last month (September 2022), here are some of the recordings – more of which will become available in the next weeks and months.
Software Sustainability Institute Communications Officer role
The Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) are advertising for a new Communications Officer.
MATLAB user survey
SSI Fellow David Wilby is happy to announce that his MATLAB user survey is open! This survey will help to assess the state of understanding of reproducibility concepts among academic MATLAB users and their appetite for training in this area. Please share with any colleagues, friends and suitable mailing lists.
Take a short survey on mental health in the research software engineering community
Mental health is an important subject. SSI Fellow Dave Horsfall is running a short survey that aims to capture a snapshot of mental health within the research software engineering community, and explore the steps that might be taken to improve things. If you work as a Research Software Engineer, please take the survey. It will take around 6 to 12 minutes to complete depending on your answers. The results will give valuable information about the health of the RSE workforce, and could drive lasting cultural change in our community. Please also share with your teams and colleagues.
RSE Trusted Research Environments (TRE) Working Group
Following a successful meeting at RSECON22 we’ve launched the RSE TRE working group! Everyone is welcome to follow and join in with discussions. To find out more: See our website; Read the report on the RSECON22 TRE meeting ; Join the #rse-tre-wg channel on the RSE Slack Workspace. We’re setting up the working groups and organising the next meeting now. If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch on Slack, or email Simon Li ([email protected]) or Hari Sood ([email protected])!
International RSE Survey Results
International RSE Survey results available. Thanks to the SSI and the many contributors.
Review of RSLondonSouthEast 2022 – an event the Society co-sponsored.
International RSE Day
On Thursday 13th October 2022 it was the second ever International RSE Day, celebrating and raising awareness for Research Software Engineers across the world. The Society worked to encourage a variety of activities for local groups to run on the day and were grateful for the many blog post submissions made for the social media campaign on the day. You can read a summary thread of these via Twitter. The Society also published a press release that was circulated to a variety of stakeholders highlighting the importance of RSE and their contribution to UK science. You can read our press release in full on the website.
SSI Research Software Camp: Supporting Mental Health
Our autumn Research Software Camp will address approaches to wellbeing and mental health in research software, running from 7 to 18 November 2022. Recent years have seen better acknowledgement of the importance of wellbeing and good mental health in the workplace. However, writing code for research is a relatively newly recognised aspect in academia and, as such, a long road is still ahead of us when it comes to speaking openly about, and offering solutions to, stressors that can affect people’s wellbeing and mental health in research software working environments.
Registration on Eventbrite is now open for:
- Panel discussion: Managing stress in research software – 7 November 2022, 13:00 –14:30 GMT.
- Workshop: Befriending your inner critic – 15 November 2022, 13:00–15:00 GMT.
We’re looking for more case studies!
All the case studies to-date can be found at https://society-rse.org/careers/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.
Call for Input – International Funders Workshop: The Future of Research Software
Carole Goble writes: Hello RSEers – in a couple of weeks we have the International Funders Workshop: The Future of Research Software. This international workshop aims to set the future agenda for national and international funders to support sustainable research software. Several people in the community have been asked to speak on specific topics – I have been asked to speak on the Role of the Community in Research Software Sustainability. Any thoughts and messages you think I should convey to important funders? Now is your chance to share! Contact Carole at [email protected].
NL-RSE meetup: Should research software be free?
NL-RSE (Netherlands RSE association) are running an event on should research software be free
9 November 2022.
Call for Participation – RSE-HPC-2022
We are excited to announce the Research Software Engineers in HPC Workshop (RSE-HPC-2022) to be held as part of SC22 (hybrid event, in Dallas, TX and virtually). This will be a half-day workshop 1:30pm-5:00pm CST (UTC-6), Sunday, November 13, 2022. The theme for this year’s workshop is “How Do RSEs and HPC Centers Fit Together?” This workshop will bring together RSEs and allies involved in HPC, from all over the world, to grow the RSE community by establishing and strengthening professional networks of current RSEs and RSE leaders. We’ll discuss the current activities and plans of national RSE organizations, discuss the needs of RSEs and RSE groups, and ways RSE organizations can help address these. Participation is open to all SC22 participants who have signed up for the “Workshops” option. For more information, see the workshop website or contact the organizers (mailto:[email protected]).
Code For Thought
Peter Schmidt writes:
It was great to be at #RSECon2022 in Newcastle and meet people I have met only online until then. Even more fun to do a “live” podcast recording for #CodeForThought: “RSE the next 10 years”. Many thanks to the panel members Anika, Idil, Michael, Simon and Jennifer
Another new podcast episode went live – already tweeted on @Code_4_Thought. In the report ‘Better, Broader, Safer’ for the UK govt., Ben Goldacre outlines ways on how research in the health sector should be improved. And software engineering and supporting RSEs feature big in this, as Ben explains in this week’s episode.
ByteSized RSE is a series of interactive workshops run by UNIVERSE-HPC. To reach a wider audience #CodeForThought will publish accompanying episodes. The first session was this October on Software Licensing.
Developer Stories – a rebranding of RSEStories
Vanessa Sochat writes:
If you listen to the #RSEStories podcast we are pleased to announce a rebranding to Developer Stories #DeveloperStories or “devstories!” With this rebranding, we hope to create a more inclusive show that includes not just #rseng, but developers across roles! Our first episode is a Halloween special and a new podcast experiment – a “community episode” that is assembled from stories submit by our listeners (that’s right, all of you!) The complete news is here, and we invite you to listen to the episode on Spotify or check out the show notes directly. And, as always, if you are an #rseng that would like to share your story, we’d love to have you! We look forward to continued sharing the passion and stories of #rseng and developers alike.
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)
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
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!