SE4Science’19: Workshop on use of appropriate software engineering practices to develop sustainable research software

Jeffrey C. Carver, University of Alabama
December 18, 2018

This is a time of great growth at the intersection of software engineering and research software. There is a need to bring together members of these communities to identify common goals and lay out research agenda to move both communities in a positive direction. To address this, the SE4Science’19 workshop will be held May 28, 2019 in conjunction with the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in Montreal, Canada. The goal of this workshop is to provide a unique venue for interaction between software engineers and scientists. To address this goal, we seek contributions from members of both communities the describe perspectives, research outcomes, and lessons learned from the development of research software.

In addition, there are increasing concerns regarding the fragility of these research software systems, which operate in a highly connected ecosystem with emergent properties, whose inter-dependencies can lead to cascading failures. Despite the emergence of clear and systematic software engineering approaches, the design and development of high-quality, sustainable software systems are still extremely challenging. As a result, the topic of software sustainability has also emerged as an important area of research. The importance of sustainability and software as a growth research area has been further underlined by long-term funding initiatives from the EPSRC (UK) and the NSF (USA), including the URSSI conceptualization. However, even though the importance of sustainability is increasingly recognized, many scientific software codebases and systems are highly unsustainable. Despite increasing recognition in the field of software engineering, it remains difficult to assess the delayed systemic effects of decisions taken in system design leading to code smells, sustainability debt, brittleness, which ultimately lead to software decay and death.

If you develop research software, are interested in valid software engineering approaches for research software, or work in the area of sustainability for research software, then this workshop is for you. Visit the workshop webpage for more details. Please consider submitting a paper and/or attending the workshop.