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HIFIS at the EuSSI training bazar


What is EuSSI?

The European Software Sustainability Institute is a network of organizations following the example of the SSI in the United Kingdom. Its goal is to raise awareness and share methods to improve the sustainability of reseach software.

The Training Bazar

One measure to tackle these challenges is to take a closer look at the training activities regarding scientific software development. For this very reason, the EuSSI has recently invited many European training initiatives to share their goals, approaches and experiences regarding the training for research software engineering. Together with our colleagues from HIDA and Helmholtz AI, we presented the Incubator workshop process. We gave an overview over the approaches taken by the three platforms, their common aspects, as well as highlighting the individual capabilities of each.

Multiple other European initiatives and institutions also presented their respective teaching endeavours, among which were

Following these initial presentations a lively discussion was held to share experiences, network among the organizations and identify common challenges in a bid to start pooling our ressouces and knowledge to solve those.

Takeaway Messages

It became clear very quickly, that many approaches on the topic of teaching Research Software Engineering across Europe are relatively young, but have already gathered considerable experience.

The demand for RSE training opportunities is very high and current endeavours are not nearly sufficient to effectively cover this. As a limiting factor the overall availability of active instructors was identified. But why are there not enough instructors to hold more classes? Being an instructor is to often regarded as a “side quest” and often not considered a valid choice for a full-time career / job definition by individuals and organisations alike. Coupled with non-permanent employment positions, it leads to many trained instructors who only rarely get the opportunity to apply or further develop their skills. A strong culture shift is needed in this regard.

Due to this bottleneck in available instructors’ and organizers’ time (which very often are the same person), a further approach is to strive to automate as many parts around the workshop organisation as possible. Within Helmholtz, we use HIFIS Events for advertising, registration and sharing information as needed software or log-in data for the participants.

With regards to training materials it is a declared goal of the participants to increase the sharing and re-useing amongst each other and to promote Open Education Resources. We started to publish our HIFIS workshop materials already some time ago, which you can find along with some tutorials at the Learning Materials.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

If you have any feedback to tell us, don’t hesitate to contact us.