A growing number of people in academia combine expertise in programming with an intricate understanding of research. Although this combination of skills is extremely valuable, RSEs often lack a formal place in the academic system: they may produce fewer first-author papers than a researcher, and they may contribute to many papers and not appear as a author beyond a minor acknowledgement, if that! Their code is less formal than a software developers', and career recognition is correspondingly low. The term "Research Software Engineer" is an attempt to recognize and promote these people, and the advantages to being a RSE are similar to being a researcher. RSEs will almost always closely work with researchers.
You can read more about RSEs demographics in the Nordics in our 2018 survey.
Most research software engineers don't have that as their job title. If you answer yes to many of the following questions, you are doing the work of a research software engineer:
Content of this page is derived from text originally provided courtesy of the UK Research Software Engineer Association.