Ian Cosden • April 16, 2019
Why Research Software Engineers? At Princeton University, our Research Software Engineering group is nearing its third birthday but many people still ask basic questions about us: What is a Research Software Engineer? What do you do? How do you work with researchers? In an attempt to answer some of these questions I like to begin with an analogy. Most adults know how to cook something. Maybe it’s ramen, tacos, or lasagna.
Sandra Gesing • April 4, 2019
Summary: One goal of the conceptualization phase of URSSI is to gather as much input from the community as possible about the different facets and pain points of sustainability of research software: from career paths of software developers in academia to citations of software to gaps in existing training and education programs for software engineering. The awareness of the importance of this topic is evident in diverse initiatives and projects around research software sustainability such as WSSSPE (Working towards Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences) and BSSw (Better Scientific Software), and funding programs like the past NSF SI2, which also funds the conceptualization of URSSI, and its successor, CSSI.
Nic Weber • March 28, 2019
Summary At the first URSSI community workshop, a small group of participants started to discuss a model for incubating research software projects. Incubation in this context might include a structured program that helps developers plan a new community-based software project, or improve existing projects that need mentorship, strategy, or other resources in order to sustainably grow. To further explore this topic we brought together 16 experienced funders, community managers, developers, researchers, and software users.
Karthik Ram • March 24, 2019
Summary: One of the biggest obstacles to making research software sustainable is ensuring appropriate credit and recognition for researchers who develop and maintain such software. We convened 16 experts over two days to identify core issues around software credit and propose concrete steps that a software institute might take to solve them. We identified six core issues directly related to credit (career paths, individual impact, disincentives in the academic credit model, quality versus impact, recognition of software value, lack of funding) and two broader challenges (lack of funding for maintenance and lack of awareness of best practices).
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