The ExCALIBUR Research Software Engineer Knowledge Integration (RSE KI) activity will develop and grow our agile, interdisciplinary RSE Community to meet the Exascale training and skill challenges for our UK Research Communities. It will develop an evolving training curriculum (encompassing both technical and professional development) and will work to grow in number the UK RSE Community across both academia and industry. There will be a strong focus on the development of activities to facilitate both the cross fertilisation of knowledge and the movement of people within and between the two.
The contribution of the Research Software Engineer (RSE) community is integral to the success of the ExCALIBUR programme, evidenced by the inclusion of RSE’s/Scientific Software Engineers (SSE’s) across the whole programme. The UK has a highly skilled and growing Research Software Engineering Community. However, at this critical moment in the development of large-scale supercomputing – on the cusp of the Exascale era – there is significant growth in the demand for both the skills and size of this community. To meet the challenges of Exascale the UK must develop and grow an increasingly agile, interdisciplinary RSE Community equipped to exploit the potential of Exascale for UK Research Communities and Industry.
The ExCALIBUR Research Software Engineer Knowledge Integration (RSE KI) activity aims to both identify and develop the provision of training (encompassing both technical and professional development) to enable the UK Research Community to embrace the acceleration in research enabled by Exascale Systems. The activity is also aiming to grow in number the UK RSE Community across both academia and industry, facilitating both the cross fertilisation of knowledge and the movement of people within and between the two.
RSE KI Phase One:
Phase One provided funding to
- Produce a holistic review of the current RSE Landscape in the UK and funding.
- Develop and deliver training to meet an urgent unmet need of the RSE Community which included:-
- the development and delivery of online training to the ExCALIBUR community and beyond via hands on workshops, documented tutorials, and hackathons.
- tool development.
The Research Software Engineer Knowledge Integration Landscape Review was written by an editorial board comprised of academics and Research Software Engineers from both academia and the Public Sector Research Establishments (PSRE’s) involved in the ExCALIBUR programme. The RSE Landscape Review details
- the key skills required of RSE’s as we approach the Exascale era.
- the current skills and training provision available to the wider RSE community both Nationally and Internationally.
- the key training and skills gaps where investment would accelerate the growth in the supply of RSE’s to meet the challenges of the early Exascale supercomputers.
- recommendations to support the growth of the RSE Community
- the importance of establishing the long-term career development for Research Software Engineers in both academia and industry
This Landscape review will not only provide the framework for Phase Two of the RSE KI activity and provide input into the upcoming EXCALIBUR funding opportunities, it will also evidence future initiatives for the benefit this community.
RSE KI Phase Two:
Phase Two of the RSE Knowledge Integration activity will provide funding for a call for proposals to address the stated aims of this activity. The contribution of RSE’s to the ExCALIBUR programme is central to its success, it is therefore planned that RSE activities will be included in the wider upcoming ExCALIBUR funding opportunities to ensure integration and co-ordination across the programme for common training and skills need.