Why science needs more research software engineers

Paul Richmond poses for a portrait in his garden

Paul Richmond is a research software engineer in the United Kingdom.Credit: Shelley Richmond

In March 2012, a group of like-minded software developers gathered at the University of Oxford, UK, for what they called the Collaborations Workshop. They had a common vocation — building code to support scientific research — but different job titles. And they had no clear career path. The attendees coined a term to describe their line of work: research software engineer (RSE).

A decade later, RSE societies have sprung up in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, Australia and the United States. In the United Kingdom, at