Training for and by the RSE community

Dr Rebecca Lange1, Heidi  Perrett6, Dr Manodeep Sinha2, Mrs  Nooriyah  Lohani3, Mr Justin  Baker4, Nicholas  May5

1Curtin University, Bentley, Australia
2Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Australia
3New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), New Zealand
4CSIRO, , Australia
5RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
6Ceres Tag, , Australia

The successful collaboration between Research Software Engineers (RSEs) and researchers depends on:

– the RSEs understanding of the different workflows of software vs research projects,

– the RSEs technical and soft skills, and

– the researchers’ basic understanding of the technical skills required.

All of these aspects are underpinned by training for and often by RSE.

This BoF aims to establish an overview of this training landscape and its gaps by exploring two questions:

What training would be beneficial for the RSE’s career development?

The technical landscape changes constantly, and RSEs need (re-)training to stay up-to-date with new developments. Additionally, senior RSEs need management skills for further career advancement.

In this part of the BoF participants will share and discuss training available to RSE across AUNZ and whether this covers the skills and professional development desired by RSE.

What training would improve the interactions between RSEs and researchers?

Researchers are not software developers, nor do they need be. However, having a basic understanding of coding and software development practices will improve communication between RSEs and researchers and lead to better project outcomes.

Participants will share and discuss what computational training they are expected to deliver and if this actually covers the concepts researchers should be taught to enable better collaboration with RSE.

The outcomes will be collated and shared publicly and a working group may be established during the BoF to assess the training needs and evaluate mechanisms to establish the best-practices for employers towards training for and by RSEs.


Rebecca is a data scientist at the Curtin Institute for Computation where she applies her research, data analysis, and coding skills to support researchers with their computational projects. In addition, she leads the Curtin University node of the Astronomy Data And Computing Services (ADACS) initiative and oversees the ADACS computational training efforts.

Across her roles Rebecca actively supports and promotes open source software and open source development. She is  involved with the open astronomy community, a member of the AUNZ Research Software Engineer (RSE) association steering committee, and a founding and organisational member of the R-Ladies Perth chapter.

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