If software is vital to research,

then so are the experts

that build it

By Simon Hettrick

Deputy Director, Software Sustainability Institute


CANARIE Research Software Developers' Workshop 2017, Montreal  -  ORCID: 0000-0002-6809-5195

Software Sustainability Institute

Cultivating better, more sustainable, research software to enable world-class research

Software

Training

Community

Policy

Over 72 projects

All 7 Research Councils

Over 3000 learners

Over 100 courses

80 guides, 50000 views 

RSE campaign

Demographic studies

Finance and career studies

76 Fellows across domains

Over 20 workshops

 

Outreach

15,000+ monthly visits

Vibrant Twitter community

Is software important

to research?

100,000 publications between 2009-2016 [1]

-> 12,500 per year
 

850 software outcomes between 2012-2016 [2]

-> 170 per year
 

Software comprises 1.4% of research outcomes

50,000 grant titles and abstracts

 

13,000 grants related to software use

 

Software related to 26% of grants

[3]

6637 case studies

 

35% include "software" in the case study

Use

software

Fundamental to

results

69%

92%

[5]

Is software important

to research?

What software is

being used?

[4]

Software used in research

Number of times reported

[4]

Who writes the software?

Use

software

Fundamental to

results

Develop own code

69%

92%

56%

[2]

200,000 academic staff in the UK [7]

 

Over 100,000 could be developing their own software

Research

Software

Engineering

Researcher

Software

Engineer

Researcher

developer

Here

10,000 jobs, dumb text search:

=> 4% related to software development

 

80,000 job adverts, 38 people classifying

=> 8% related to software development

Why don't we hear about software experts?

1. No formal

career path

...but many informal ones

2. No career progression

3. Lack of

recognition

4. Salary

Many problems; one solution:

 

A career path for software experts in academia

Collaborations Workshop

[10]

"Developing the profession of a scientific software engineer and the career track of software developers in academia"

- James Hetherington

We need a name...

Research

Software

Engineer

A quick tip on

naming things...

RSE

An RSE

The RSE campaign

 UK RSE

Association

www.rse.ac.uk

@ResearchSoftEng

UKRSE Association Members

  • University of Bristol

  • Culham Centre for Fusion Energy

  • Diamond

  • EPCC

  • Imperial

  • King’s College London

  • LSE

  • University of Manchester

  • University of Oxford

  • University of Sheffield

  • Software Sustainability Institute

  • University of Southampton

  • UCL

[17]

RSE Groups

RSE Fellowship

EPSRC funded initiative

Five year funding for two staff members

Kickstart further RSG growth

211 applicants for 3 places on offer

7 RSE Fellowships awarded [19]

Running again this year

[20]

International interest

CANARIE

WSSSPE

Internet2

Moore-Sloan Data Science Environments

Software Carpentry

rfII

First sister organisation in Germany

The first conference for

Research Software Engineers

38 paper submissions

13 workshop submissions

 

202 attendees

14 countries

[21]

RSE conference 2017

7-8 September 2017, Manchester

rse.ac.uk/conf2017

What do we know about RSEs?

Background

6%

4%

Doctorate

44%

Masters

28%

Bachelors

18%

Education

College diploma

Other

Education

PhD
68%

MSc
19%

Undergrad &
Other

13%

6%

6%

Information technology

27%

Biological sciences

11%

Physics

7%

Background

Chemistry

Maths

Other

43%

Other

9%

8%

9%

Physical

sciences

38%

Computer

sciences

25%

Maths

12%

Background

Engi-neering

Biological

sciences

3.0

Developing software

5.1

Research

4.4

Management

3.3

Time

Other activities

Contributed to a paper?

Yes
78%

No
12%

14% not

acknowledged!

"It's complicated"

Developers per project

"Bus factor"

11%

7%

1

22%

2

21%

3-5

38%

Developers per project

10+

6-9

4%

8%

1

46%

2

30%

3

12%

Bus factor

5 +

4

7%

2%

No formal

66%

Scrum

14%

Kanban

9%

Methodology

Agile

Waterfall

7%

Developer

testing

54%

User

testing

32%

Test

engineers

11%

Testing

No

testing

17%

49%

1

(never)

13%

2

16%

3

5%

Open source

5

(always)

4

6%

5%

1

(never)

73%

2

10%

3

6%

Use of DOIs

5

(always)

4

Join a CA RSE Association?

Yes
75%

No
25%

38%

37%

Networking

51%

Software

collaborations

47%

Training

42%

Why join?

Research

collaborations

Standards/

interoperability

21%

Job

opportunities

Gender

75%

25%

0%

50%

In summary...

Research Software Engineers: State of the Nation 2017

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.495360

Results from CA survey

https://goo.gl/Yk76OH

Research benefits if we increase access to software expertise

These slides:     https://goo.gl/t4ZMBn

Contact

s.hettrick@software.ac.uk

References 1/2

1.https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/pubs/researchoutputs2016

2. https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2017-01-18-researchfishr-what-can-it-tell-us-about-software-research

3. https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2016-09-12-ps840-million-uks-investment-software-reliant-research-2013

4. https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2016-09-12-quick-and-dirty-analysis-software-being-used-research-python-matlab-and-r

5. http://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2014-12-04-its-impossible-conduct-research-without-software-say-7-out-10-uk-researchers
6.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/278326/bis-14-p200-science-and-research-budget-allocations-for-2015-to-2016.pdf

7. https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/staff

8. https://www.reed.co.uk/average-salary/it-telecoms/software-developer

9. https://github.com/softwaresaved/RSE-Survey-2016

10. https://www.software.ac.uk/cw12
11. http://www.researchresearch.com/news/article/?articleId=1345478
12. https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2013-08-23-ten-reasons-be-research-software-engineer
13. http://www.scientific-computing.com/news/news_story.php?news_id=2737
14. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/save-your-work-give-software-engineers-a-career-track/2006431.article

15. https://www.software.ac.uk/workshop-research-software-engineers

16. https://twitter.com/ashleytowers/status/473771213375148032

17. http://rse.ac.uk/community/research-software-groups-rsgs

References 2/2

18. https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/pubs/e-infrastructure-roadmap

19. http://www.walkingrandomly.com/?p=6037
20.  https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/rsefellowships

21. https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2016-10-19-rse-conference-feedback-what-did-people-think

https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students

20170503 Software experts in Canada and the UK

By Simon Hettrick

20170503 Software experts in Canada and the UK

CANARIE Research Software Developers' Workshop 2017, Montreal

  • 852
Loading comments...

More from Simon Hettrick