NTNU Research Software Engineers Community

NTNU Research Software Engineers Community

We bring together the community of people writing and contributing to research software at NTNU to share knowledge, to organize meetings, and raise awareness for the scientific recognition of research software. This initiative is following the international network of other RSE groups at UK, Germany, Netherlands, and other countries.

Want to know more?

  • Join us by subscribing to the mailing list. By joining the community, you will stay in touch with RSEs at NTNU and you can send and receive announcements of events organized by and for RSEs. You will also be informed about our work and will have the chance to contact people like you from all corners of NTNU. The more members that we have, the easier it will be to raise awareness of the importance of software in research, and the vital role RSEs play in creating this software.
  • Find great reading material at UK RSE and The Software Sustainability Institute!

What is a Research Software Engineer?

A growing number of people in academia 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 academic system. This means there is no easy way to recognize their contribution, to reward them, or to represent their views. Without a name, it is difficult for people to rally around a cause, so the term Research Software Engineer was created. We are now working to raise awareness of the role and bring the community together.

Some Research Software Engineers start off as researchers who spend time developing software to progress their research. Because they enjoy this work and have invested in developing specialist skills, they continue to focus on software and its use in research. Others start off from a more conventional software-development background and are drawn to research by the challenge of using software to further research.

The attraction of being a Research Software Engineer is similar to that of being a researcher: the role attracts people who want to know how the world works. The Research Software Engineer works with researchers to gain an understanding of the problems they face, and then develops, maintains and extends software to provide the answers.

Are you a Research Software Engineer?

Regardless of your formal job title, if you answer yes to many of the following questions, you are doing the work of a Research Software Engineer:

  • Are you employed to develop software for research?
  • Are you spending more time developing software than conducting research?
  • Are you employed as a postdoctoral researcher, even though you predominantly work on software development?
  • Are you the person who does computers in your research group?
  • Are you sometimes not named on research papers despite playing a fundamental part in developing the software used to create them?
  • Do you lack the metrics needed to progress your academic career, like papers and conference presentations, despite having made a significant contribution through software?

Content of this page is derived from text originally provided courtesy of the UK Research Software Engineer Association.