The Research Software Engineer (RSE) 2017 conference started with an excellent keynote talk by Chris Woods, emphasising a number of issues. This set the tone for the conference, outlining the aspiration of developing the RSE community and changing perceptions. There seems to be clear progress in this area and a number of challenges still to face. One issue that came up was the misalignment of aspiration in the university selection processes for RSE fellowships candidates compared to those in the national RSE community. For me, the most interesting point was Chris’ emphasis on letting people use the technologies they feel most comfortable with, when working as an RSE. This was a theme from the conference that continued with no less than four talks by software engineers working at or with the MET office. Weather prediction is unique in that it is scientific software with a direct and constant validation, often by angry people without umbrellas. It is also an area where code and hardware reliability is crucial. They have an entire standby supercomputer in case the main one goes down and an extensive testing framework. In this context, it is therefore interesting that the MET RSEs are working on rewriting the entire HPC…Continue Reading
The RSE Conference Committee is currently calling for 15-minute talks, posters and 90-minute workshops or tutorials. Submit your proposals by 28th April 2017.
The RSE conference 2017 is for anyone who works in research and cares about software to the Research Software Engineers Conference 2017 taking place on 7th & 8th September at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.
Registration will open in June.
The first RSE conference in 2016 brought together 202 Research Software Engineers from 14 countries and was a huge success:
“This might have been my 30th conference but it was the first where I felt thematically 100% at home and understood. I understood that I am not alone with my observation, practices, solutions, problems. Great discussions, great networking, great venue, great organisation."
“It was a fantastic conference put together really well. I especially loved the small size (very manageable and easy to meet everyone!) and the venue (how refreshing to walk to other rooms quickly instead of running across conference centres).”I
The RSE committee kindly offers to provide a mentor for less experienced conference speakers or workshop leaders. Questions before submitting a proposal can be sent to email@example.com.
Following the success of the First Conference of Research Software Engineers, the Second Conference will be held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester on the 7th-8th September 2017. We are expecting a lively, international mix of over 200 attendees and are now announcing the opening of the calls for talks, posters, workshops and tutorials.
RSE17 is not a standard academic conference! It’s a community conference: get involved and help us build the RSE Community.
The deadline is Friday 28th April, with an early deadline of Friday April 7th for those who want to apply for £250 travel bursaries.
For more information, please visit the RSE website.
Registration for the conference will open on May 31st. If you want to be notified, please sign up for notifications using this form.
By Catherine Jones, Diversity Chair.
Why did the RSE Conference have a diversity chair? What was the impact? What can we do better next time? These are the three questions I hope this blog will answer.
Different backgrounds and experiences enhance a team and help to avoid group think. Diversity has many different aspects, but the main two that the RSE conference focussed on were gender and ethnicity. It was an aspiration that the conference organisers, speakers and attendees reflected the makeup of the RSE community. Having someone responsible for diversity ensured that it was consciously considered during planning. As part of this commitment to diversity, the RSE Conference had a diversity statement and code of conduct.
Who organised it?
What was the makeup of the committee? This was remarkedly gender balanced for the domain, the chart belows shows the gender split. Sadly it wasn’t very ethnically diverse.
Of the registered attendees 72% were male, 16% were female and 12% preferred not to say or didn’t answer. So that for those who identified their gender 18% were female. Looking at ethnicity: 76%…Continue Reading
By Stephan Janosch, Research Software Engineer at Max-Planck-Institute for Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
RSEs in Germany
A handful of people from Germany attended the first Research Software Engineers conference #RSE16. However, few as they may have been, they made a plan: to transfer the community spirit among research software engineers from the UK back to Germany. After some discussion, we decided to register the domain http://www.de-RSE.org and set up a website and a mailing list.
Once the mailing list was online, a big surprise was posted within a few days: a free open science workshop for 70 people on scientific software would take place on November 2016 in Germany. Now, that would be the perfect chance to kick start a German RSE community, wouldn’t it?
Workshop—“Access to and reuse of scientific software”
November was upon us faster than expected, and so was the 1.5-day workshop (hashtag: #hgfos16) about accessibility and reuse of scientific software, organised by the Helmholtz Open Science office. An audience of 77 people, as diverse as that at #RSE16, listened to three…Continue Reading
By Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director, Software Sustainability Institute
In a previous post, I discussed the success of the RSE Conference, but I’m hardly an impartial observer. To make sure that the conference improves every year, we ran a post-conference survey so that people could let us know what they thought.
We received 87 responses from the 202 attendees at the conference. That’s a response rate of 47% which is a phenomenal rate for this kind of survey. It’s best practice to offer a prize for feedback because it helps even out the balance of responses by providing an incentive to those who feel ambivalent or negative about the event. However, one £50 Amazon voucher doesn’t account for such a significant response, which means that people felt passionately about the conference. At this stage of the analysis, you’ve just got to cross your fingers and hope that this is good passion, rather than bad!
We asked whether people would attend the conference again—95% would—and whether they’d recommend the conference to others—100% would. That’s fantastic feedback, especially when we see that the conference was rated on average at 4.3 out of 5.
The majority of our attendees came from a background in Physical Sciences (30%), Computer Sciences (18%)…Continue Reading
By Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director.
I’m a lazy writer, so when it comes to summarising last week’s RSE Conference, I will defer instead to the genius of Adrian Jackson’s tweet:
— Adrian Jackson (@adrianjhpc) September 16, 2016
With all the excitement about RSEs over the last couple of years, we knew it was the right time to run a conference to bring them together. We’ve had workshops and AGMs, but this was going to be bigger, better and way more intense. The thing that impressed me most was the buzz. We attracted a lot of new people, but they were interacting like old friends. We worked hard to have an inclusive event, but I think this is also representative of people feeling a part of the community. As one of the emails we received said:
“This might have been my 30th conference but it was the first where I felt thematically 100% at home and understood”.… Continue Reading
The RSE Conference (15-16 September 2016, Manchester) is the first conference to focus exclusively on the issues that affect people who write and use software in research. We're looking for submissions to our workshops and talks programmes that will investigate and communicate ideas and expertise from the RSE community.
It is not a standard academic conference! We welcome researchers, but we also want to hear from people who may not typically attend conferences. It’s a community conference: get involved and help us build the RSE Community.
From running a workshop, sharing your ideas or simply attending, there are many ways in which you can participate. We want to hear from you about the new technologies and techniques that help you in your work. We want your opinions on what will make the conference even more useful. And, of course, we want you to attend!
We’ve described the many different ways you can participate below. Take a look, and get in touch if you’d like more information.
Call for workshops
If you want to help others learn about a new tool, technology or methodology, then please submit a workshop.
For more details about submitting a workshop, read the workshop page.
Call for talks
We’re looking for talks that discuss and expand on issues that affect RSEs.
For more details about submitting a talk, read the talk page.
What’s an RSE?