Birds-of-a-Feather Session

Scientific Software and the People Who Make it Happen: Building Communities of Practice

Series: Technical Sessions and Meetings Part of: ISC23

Software has become central to all aspects of modern science and technology. It powers our modeling, simulation, data analytics, and more. And especially in the high-performance computing (HPC) and computational science and engineering (CSE) areas, it is becoming ever-larger and more complex as we are asked to address larger and higher fidelity scientific and technical questions. This complexity is further exacerbated by the pace of change and diversity of platform architectures. Simultaneously, the teams behind the software are pressured to become larger, and at the same time need to be more technically diverse and likely more geographically distributed. Research software engineers (RSEs), an emerging role within the scientific software space, are part of such teams.

We believe this situation has the makings of a serious software crisis in CSE on HPC, which we ignore at our own expense in scientific productivity and opportunity, therefore we seek to raise awareness of software engineering for scientific software on supercomputers as a major challenge, to recognize and support the people behind the software, such as RSEs, and to bring together and extend an international “community of practice” to continue these important discussions outside of workshops and other “traditional” venues.

This BoF provides an opportunity for people concerned about these topics to share existing experiences and activities, discuss how we can expand and improve on them, and share the results. Presentations and discussion notes will be made available to the community at the BoF series website,