BoF: Next Steps for the Research Software Engineering Community in New Zealand

2020-03-10T03:52:37Z (GMT) by Nooriyah Lohani
The term Research Software Engineer (RSE), originally coined by the UK RSE association (https://rse.ac.uk), describes a growing number of people in academia who combine expertise in programming with an intricate understanding of research. Although this combination of skills is extremely valuable, these people lack a formal place in the traditional academic system.

Inspired by the success of the RSE Association in the UK, we continue to work towards establishing an Australasian Chapter of the RSE Association (https://rse-aunz.github.io/). Together with international bodies and support from national organisations such as AeRO, NeSI, CAUDIT, the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) and other research institutions, we aim to campaign for the recognition and adoption of the RSE role within the research ecosystem. Appropriate recognition, reward and career opportunities for RSEs are also needed. We would like to discuss the shortcomings and what worked in the year of events to allow RSEs to meet, exchange knowledge and collaborate.

This BoF will cover the community building activities that have occurred, identify future plans and activities for the coming year in New Zealand and Australia, and discuss the next steps that were identified at the pre-conference workshop. If you are an academic or researcher who codes; a professional software engineer working in the research space; a systems administrator who maintains research systems; or someone who is passionate about quality research software, please join us at this event to actively work on how we can grow this community and advocate for others. Together, we can build a thriving community that benefits research software engineers, and ultimately contributes to a more efficient and sustainable research ecosystem.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Nooriyah Lohani - I am a Bioinformatician by training and after working for a few years in a commercial and academic realm, I am now a research communities advisor at NeSI passionate about understanding research needs in the eScience sector. I am also Co-chair of the RSE Australia New Zealand steering committee.