University of Surrey meeting: What is Research Software Engineering?

I recently attended an event at The University of Surrey called What is Research Software Engineering? Along with many institutions, Surrey are considering some sort of central Research Software Engineering function so they invited a few people from the national community to give talks on the topic.

The first talk was by Simon Hettrick, deputy director of the Software Sustainability Institute who presented the history of research software engineers.  We’ve been around forever of course but we didn’t rally around a name until 2012. Simon’s talk is essential viewing for someone who has never heard of the RSE movement and he is more than happy to come to a university near you.

My talk was called So you wanna build an RSE group? where I discussed the history and lessons learned when we built the RSE group at The University of Sheffield.  Developing this talk was useful reflection for me since it allowed me to consider what should be in the strategy for the RSE group that we will be building at Leeds (Hiring soon!…join the national RSE group to ensure that you are notified of all RSE career opportunities)

Next up was our host, Evren Imre who gave a very open and frank talk about his personal experiences of working as a vision researcher — much of which was spent developing software.

Finally, we heard from Christian Kroos: In his talk, Here be dragons he presented some considerations on research software design based on his experiences developing research software, both as a researcher and as a research software developer.

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