A brief history of Research Software Engineers
By Simon Hettrick
Software Sustainability Institute
15 September 2016 - RSE Conference, Manchester ORCID: 0000-0002-6809-5195
Back to 2010...
The Software Sustainability Institute
Develop own code
There are plenty of researchers who write really good code...
Back to 2012...
"Developing the profession of a scientific software engineer and the career track of software developers in academia"
- James Hetherington
We need a name...
10,000 jobs assessed
~400 related to software development (4%)
Analyst Developer Analyst Programmer Analyst Programmer - SITS (x 3) Analyst/Programmer Applications Developer Applied Scientist Architectural Robotics Developer Assistant Data Programmer Assistant Project Manager Atmospheric Correction and Radiative Transfer Model Scientist Audio Software Developer - KTP Associate Bioinformatician Bioinformatician In Potato Genomics and Genetics Bioinformatician/Computational Bioscientist in Microbiology Bioinformaticians Bioinformatics Analyst Bioinformatics Postdoctoral Researcher Bioinformatics scientist Biometric Software Systems Developer Biorespository Software Developer C++ / 3D Graphics Software Engineer Casebooks Project Editor (Research Assistant/Associate) Climate Researcher (Research Associate) Clinical Study Programmer CoMPLEX Research Associate Computational Biologist / Bioinformatician Computational Scientist Computational Scientist in Computational Fluid Dynamics & Industrial Applications Computational Scientist in Structural Mechanics and Industrial Applications Computer Scientist Computer Vision Researcher Content Developer/Programmer Control Engineer-IMG - 3 posts CREATe Data Specialist Data Analyst Data Integration Coordinator Data Manager x3 Database and Software Engineer Database Manager/Researcher Database Programmer Digital Media Technician E-Learning Portal Manager (KTP Associate) e-Learning Systems Development Analyst e-Learning Systems Development Analyst (Moodle, SQL) E-Learning Web Developer E-Portfolio Learning Technologist Embedded Systems Engineer Engineering Technician Environmental Scientist EPSRC Studentship on Algorithmic Construction of Finsler-Lyapunov Functions Experimental Officer in Bioinformatics Experimental Psychologist Finance Assistant Gaia Alerts Software Developer Gaia Software Developer (Gaia UK Team) GIS Applications Specialist Graduate Programmer / Software Developer Graphics Programmer Health Data Manager / Scientist High Throughput Bioinformatician High Throughput Sequencing Bioinformatician (Two posts) HIVE Manager/ HIVE Co-ordinator HIVE Senior Researcher and Technical Lead Hydro-informatics Scientific Software Developer Image Analysis Manager for Cancer Imaging Information Systems Developer Instrumentation Engineer Investigator Statistician IT Developer IT Services Manager IT Services Specialist (e-Learning Systems) IT Support Technician (Unix / Windows Systems) Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate: Innovent Technologies LTD Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) Associate - Software Developer KTP Associate - Robot Vision Scientist (Research Fellow) KTP Associate (Fixed Term Contract for 24 months) KTP Associate (Precision Agriculture Data Analyst) KTP Associate â€“ Graduate Web Developer KTP Associate: Electronics / Robotics Engineer Learning Technologist Leicester Respiratory BRU IT Developer Linguist / Psycholinguist Maker Space Technician Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher in Radar Rainfall for Integrated Water Quality Modelling Marine Earth Observation Scientists Medical Statistician Medical Statistician/Senior Medical Statistician Metrology Engineer Mobile Application Developer NASC IT Support - Programmer and Systems Administrator (Fixed-term) NIHR Research Methods Fellow PDRA on EU Project on Automated Multisensor Surveillance Planning Officer Policy Modeller 2014 Post - Doctoral Research Assistant INSTRON Post Doctoral Research Worker Post Doctoral Researcher in the application of Digital Technology Post-Doctoral Research Assistant in Simulation and Visualization Post-Doctoral Research Associate Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Pathogen Genomics) Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Postdoctoral Fellow - population genetics / evolutionary genetic Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics Postdoctoral Fellow in Cancer Therapeutics Postdoctoral Research Assistant Postdoctoral Research Associate Postdoctoral Research Fellow Postdoctoral Research Scientist Postdoctoral Researcher in Declarative (Logic and Functional) Programming Postdoctoral Researcher Postdoctoral Scientist Postdoctoral statistician Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Statistical and Computational Genetics of Autism Principal / Senior Bioinformatician Principal Bioinformatician Product Development Engineer (Rail) Publishing Portal Web Developer Radio Frequency Engineer Reader in Computer Science Reporting Analyst Research (Software) Engineer Research Assistant Research Associate Research Fellow Research Image Data Manager, Biomedical Engineering Research Officer Research Officer â€“ Social Protection Research postgraduate Research Programmer Research Scientist Research Scientist / Senior Research Scientist Research Scientist in Machine Learning and Computer Vision Research Software Developer Research Software Developer for the Herchel Smith Professor of Organic Chemistry Research Software Engineer Research Studentship Research Worker Researcher SAP Trainee Technical Analyst Scientific Officer with Michela Garofalo Scientist SEAHA Studentship: Extracting epidemiological data from collections SEEG Data Archive Manager Senior / Research Associate in Clinical Integration and Image Analysis for Fetal Surgery Senior Analyst Programmer (Business Analysis) Senior Analyst/Programmer Senior Bioinformatician Senior Bioinformatician / Bioinformatician Senior Computational Statistician - Spatial Models Senior Data Acquisition Scientist / Data Acquisition Scientist Senior Data Manager Senior Database Administrator Senior IT Developer Analyst Senior Mathematical Modeller Senior Media Developer Senior Postdoctoral Researcher - Evolutionary and Computational Analysis of Infectious Disease (Phylodynamics) Senior Research Assistant Senior Research Associate Senior Research Associate â€“ Molecular Modelling & Simmulation Senior Research Associate in Quantitative Clinical MRI Senior Research Fellow Senior Research Fellow/Research Fellow in Vibration Diagnostics and Prognostics/Digital Signal Processing Senior Research Laboratory Technician Senior Research Technician Senior Software Developer in Bioinformatics Senior Software Engineer / Software Engineer Senior Statistical Epidemiologist Senior Systems Administrator Senior Technician / Demonstrator (UCMK) Senior Web Developer SharePoint Developer Software Developer Software Developer (Bioinformatics) Software Developer (KTP Associate) Software Developer x 2 Software Developer/Programmer Software Developers in e-Learning Software Engineer Software/ Database Developer (KTP Associate) Sports Programme Manager Statistical Geneticist Statistical Programmer/Data Scientist Statistician Statistician/Epidemiologist Student and Enrolment Services Manager SWCAR Information Assistant System Administrator Systems Developer Systems, Data and Applications Team Leader Teaching Fellow in Computational Methods UTRCI Research Scientist, Control Systems Web Application Programmer Web Developer
194 different job titles
A quick tip on
Back to 2013...
[4, 5, 6, 7]
Workshop for RSEs
11 September 2013
"Should we create a community to represent RSEs?"
Growth of UKRSE Association
UKRSE Association Committee 2013-2014
UKRSE Association Committee 2015-2016
UKRSE Association Committee 2016-
"There is a continued requirement to invest in people and training in software development, with a growing need to recognise the role and value of the research software engineer"
The birth of Research Software Groups
University of Bristol
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
King’s College London
University of Manchester
University of Oxford
University of Sheffield
Software Sustainability Institute
University of Southampton
RSE Leaders network
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 
What do we know about RSEs?
Contributed to a paper?
We've come far...
...but there's a lot of work still to be done
Rob Baxter, Alys Brett, Jonathan Boyle, Ian Bush, Chris Cannam, Eddie Clarke, Mike Croucher, Dan Emmerson, Dirk Gorissen, Robert Haines, Neil Chue Hong, Oliver Henrich,
James Hetherington, Catherine Jones, Caroline Johnston,
Iain Larmour, Susan Morrell, Olivier Philippe, Florian Rathgeber, Gillian Sinclair, Mark Stillwell, Kenji Takeda, Louise Tillman,
Ilian Todorov, Ashley Towers, Adam Witney, Mark Woodbridge, Christopher Woods, Claire Wyatt...
...and everyone in the RSE Community.
History of RSEs blog:
 £5.8 from: 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
20160915 A brief history of Research Software Engineers in the UK
By Simon Hettrick