Calling for RSE volunteers to join Research Software Camp’s software surgery

Posted by j.laird on 14 March 2022 - 9:30am
stethoscope next to laptop
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

We are looking for Research Software Engineers volunteers to join our Research Software Camp’s software surgery. Volunteers will ideally self-identify as Research Software Engineers, even if that’s not their current job title. 

Sign up as a volunteer

Our spring Research Software Camp: Next steps in coding will focus on improving computational and training skills and exploring existing resources out there. The Camp will be held from 16th to 27th May 2022. As part of the Camp we will be running a software surgery which aims to provide a safe and welcoming space for people to get advice on their software challenges. 

By volunteering to help with the software surgery you can put your software skills to good use and help others in the community. It is an opportunity to practise your own skills, from diagnosing interesting technical problems to reviewing code. Volunteers will also receive an SSI t-shirt and stickers as a thank you!

What to expect

The software surgery is based around the operation of a doctor's surgery, with RSEs taking the role of "doctors" and Camp attendees as "patients". The software surgery will be open to anyone with any research software-related problem. Perhaps they need advice on how to employ good development practice, or which technology to use for a given situation and how best to use it. Or they might need a discussion to further understand the problem they have and you can help them work towards a solution.

The software surgery will run in allocated 20 minute-slots throughout the two weeks of the Camp from 16 to 27 May.  We ask volunteers to commit at least 40 mins (2 sessions) of their time per week. RSEs will provide their availability and attendees can choose the appointment time that suits them.

During the surgery the RSE has a focused discussion with the attendee to identify a small number of key challenges they are having with their research software. The RSE provides a rough "diagnosis" of the underlying causes behind the challenge(s). They then discuss initial steps to improve the situation e.g. a new practice or technology, and how to apply it.

Further guidance will be provided to volunteers in advance of the Camp.

Sign up as a volunteer

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