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Panel:	Sustainability	of	HPC	Research	Compu9ng:		
Fostering	career	paths	for	facilitators,		
research	so=ware	engineers,	and	gateway	creators	
	
Sandra	Gesing,	Marisa	Brazil,	Dana	Brunson,	Ian	Cosden,	Rafael	Ferreira	da	Silva,		
Daniel	S.	Katz,	Henry	Neeman		
sandra.gesing@nd.edu	
November	21,	2019
Non-Tradi*onal	Academic	Career	Paths		
Cyberinfrastructure,	research		so=ware	and	science	
gateways	are	widely	used	in		
•  academia,		
•  na9onal	labs	and		
•  industry	
	
Lack	of		
•  incen9ves		
•  recogni9on		
•  formal	training		
in	academia	for	facilitators,	RSEs	and	gateway	creators	
	
èLack	of	career	paths	in	academia
Ini*a*ves	Concerned	with	Career	Paths	
•  ACI-REF	Virtual	Residency	
•  Coali9on	for	Academic	Scien9fic	Computa9on	
•  Campus	Research	Compu9ng	Consor9um	(CaRCC)	
•  Campus	Champions	
•  CyberAmbassadors	
•  Internet2	
•  Linux	Clusters	Ins9tute	
•  Research	So=ware	Alliance	(ReSA)		
•  SIGHPC	Educa9on	Chapter	
•  So=ware	&	Data	Carpentry	
•  Science	Gateways	Community	Ins9tute	(SGCI)	
•  UK	Research	So=ware	Engineer	Society	
•  US	Research	So=ware	Engineer	Associa9on	(US-RSE)	
•  US	Research	So=ware	Sustainability	Ins9tute	Conceptualiza9on	
(URSSI)	
•  …
Panelists	
•  Marisa	Brazil,	Purdue	University	
Program	Manager	at	Purdue,	Coordinator	of	Campus	Champions	
•  Dana	Brunson,	Internet2	
Execu9ve	Director	for	Research	Engagement	at	Internet2	and	leader	of	CaRCC	and	XSEDE	Campus	
Engagement	
•  Ian	Cosden,	Princeton	University	
Manager	of	HPC	So=ware	Engineering	and	Chair	of	Steering	Commiee	of	US-RSE	
•  Rafael	Ferreira	da	Silva,	University	of	Southern	California	
Co-PI	on	WRENCH	and	CUE4CHNG,	member	of	the	CI	CoE	Pilot	project	
•  Daniel	S.	Katz,	University	of	Illinois		
Co-PI	of	URSSI,	ins9gator	of	the	US	RSE	community,	co-founder	of	the	WSSSPE	event	series,	and	co-
founder	of	ReSA		
•  Henry	Neeman,	University	of	Oklahoma		
Director	of	the	OU	Supercompu9ng	Center	for	Educa9on	and	Research	(OSCER),	leader	of	the	XSEDE	
Campus	Engagement,	founder	and	leader	of	the	Virtual	Residency
What	are	the	gaps	in	the	current	landscape		
regarding	career	paths?
Community of Practice, Workforce
Development and Diversity
Gaps:	
•  Lack	of	diversity	
•  Difficult	to	scale	university/	
industry	need	for	talent	
•  Loss	of	talent	to	industry/
reten9on	
•  Buy-in	and	Implementa9on	of	
Professionaliza9on	of	RC	roles	
•  Lack	of	well-established	best	
prac9ces	
Advancements:	
•  Campus	Champions	–	
Community	of	Prac9ce		
•  Women	in	HPC	
•  Workforce	Development	–	
students	and	early	career	
professionals	(academia)	
•  PEARC	Conference	Series	
•  CaRCC	work	
Marisa	Brazil
Professionalization?
Starters:		
•  Terms:	Cyberinfrastructure	(CI)	-	Research	IT	–	
Research	Compu9ng	and	Data	(RCD)	personnel	
•  What	was	your	career	path?			
•  Are	we	an	emerging	profession?		
•  Are	we	like	librarians,	physicians,	lawyers,	or		
astronomers?		
Goal:	Aract,	retain,	diversify,	and	develop	CI	
professionals.	
			
Why	professionalize?		
•  Na9onal	shortage	of	RCD	personnel	
•  High	employee	turnover	
•  Occupa9onal	dis9nc9on	from		
•  (Administra9ve)	IT	
•  Researchers	in	other	disciplines	
•  Precarious	employment	and	careers		
Progress:		
•  Campus	Champions	-	Community	of	Prac9ce	
•  Virtual	Residency	-	Training	
•  CaRCC	-		hps://carcc.org/products/	
•  CI	Professionaliza9on	Job	Families	and	Career	
Guide	
•  Job	Family	Matrix	
•  Stakeholders	and	Value	Proposi9ons	document	
•  Facilitators	network	(People	Network	includes	
Researcher-facing	Track)	
What	is	success?	
•  Children	aspire	to	be	part	of	the	profession.	
•  Clear	paths	to	enter	and	advance	in	the	
profession	(creden9aling).	
•  Maintain	the	possibility	to	enter		the	
profession	from	other	disciplines.	
Dana	Brunson
RSE Career Path Gaps
•  Overall	lack	of	awareness	(knowledge	and	understanding	of	the	role)	
•  RSE	pipeline:	qualified	and	poten9ally	interested	RSEs		
•  Organiza9on/Ins9tu9on:	Researchers,	Administrators,	HR	
•  Where	do	RSEs	belong	in	an	organiza9on?	
•  Research	staff,	IT,	etc.	
•  Incen9ves	(credit)	and	evalua9on	
•  Career	progression	for	RSEs	not	in	large	RSE	groups	
•  Term	contracts,	so=	money,	and	expecta9ons	
•  What	statement	does	this	make?	
•  Mid-career+	professionals	
•  Salary	vs.	industry	
Ian	Cosden
CI workforce
development
•  Challenges	
•  2019	NSF	Workshop	on	Connec9ng	Large	Facili9es	(LFs)	and	CI	
•  “LFs	face	an	ever-growing	challenge	in	workforce	training,	development,	and	reten9on”	
•  “Compe99on	with	industry”	
•  “There	are	no	curricula	or	cer9fica9ons	in	the	area	of	CI”	
•  “Funding	uncertainty,	differences	between	research	and	industry	skillsets,	differences	between	research	
and	industry	work	environments”	
•  Opportuni9es	
•  NSF	CyberTraining	program	
•  “Address	emerging	skills	required	in	prepara9on	and	career	growth	of	the	scien9fic	and	engineering	
research	workforce	for	innova9on,	development,	maintenance,	and	u9liza9on	of	advanced	CI	
ecosystems”	
•  WRENCH	project	(hps://wrench-project.org):	development	of	hands-on	pedagogic	ac9vi9es	for	parallel	and	
distributed	compu9ng	technologies	
•  CICoE	Pilot	project	(hps://cicoe-pilot.org)	
•  Defining	an	overarching	en9ty	for	LFs	“that	can	strategically	address	workforce	development,	training,	
reten9on,	career	paths,	and	diversity,	as	well	as	the	overall	career	paths	for	CI-related	personnel”		
Rafael	Ferreira	da	Silva
Evaluating people who build stuff
•  Research	So=ware	Engineers	and	Gateway	Creators	build	stuff	
•  We	should	evaluate	them	based	on	what	they’ve	built	
•  Do	others	use	it,	and	if	so,	for	what?	
•  To	evaluate	papers,	we	use	cita9ons	
•  Let’s	also	use	cita9ons	to	evaluate	other	products	(“stuff”):	so=ware,	
gateways,	datasets,	…	
•  Cita9on	of	datasets	genng	to	be	normal	in	some	disciplines	
•  Cita9on	of	so=ware	and	gateways	less	common,	but	we	now	have	
principles,	“standardized”	metadata	and	checklists	
•  S9ll	working	on	adop9on	by	publishers	and	ins9tu9ons	
•  For	more	info,	google	“data	cita9on”,	“so=ware	cita9on”,	FORCE11,	
Research	Data	Alliance	(RDA),	Research	So=ware	Alliance	(ReSA)	
Daniel	S.	Katz
Can There be a Career Path for Few?
Henry	Neeman	
•  The	number	of	researcher-facing	Cyberinfrastructure	professionals	in	non-commercial	research	ins9tu9ons	
in	the	US	will	never	be	high	(and	propor9onal	in	other	countries).	
•  Federal	Laboratories	(a	few	dozen	ins9tu9ons):	Several	per	ins9tu9on.	
•  Not-for-profit	research	ins9tu9ons	(a	few	hundred):	One	to	a	few	per	ins9tu9on.	
•  Academic	R1s	(131):	A	few	to	several	per	ins9tu9on.	
•  Academic	R2s	(135):	One	to	a	few	per	ins9tu9on.	
•  Academic	Doctoral	Professional	(152):	One	to	a	few	per	ins9tu9on.	
•  Academic	Masters-gran9ng	(685):	Less	than	one	per	ins9tu9on.	
•  Academic	Bachelors-gran9ng	(837):	Far	less	than	one	per	ins9tu9on.	
hp://carnegieclassifica9ons.iu.edu/	
Best	es*mate:	Low-to-mid	4	figures	of	CI	Facilitators	for	non-commercial	research.	
•  The	number	of	RSEs	per	ins9tu9on	is	likely	to	be	far	lower.	
•  Comparison:	There	were	an	es9mated	116,900	Database	Admins	in	the	US	in	2018.	
hps://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-informa9on-technology/database-administrators.htm	
•  Any	career	path	for	CI	professionals	is	highly	likely	to	be	treated	as	an	excep9on	by	most	non-commercial	
ins9tu9ons,	not	as	commonplace.	
•  Most	ins9tu9onal	CI	teams	are	very	small	(one	to	a	few),	compared	to	Enterprise	IT	teams	of	dozens	or	
hundreds.	
•  How	do	you	promote	someone	if	there’s	nowhere	to	promote	them	to?	
•  Solu*on:	Commercial	uptake	=>	many	=>	normal	career
•  How	can	academia	and	industry	collaborate	on	improving	
career	paths?	
•  How	can	we	best	combine	ac9ons	to	develop	a	cri9cal	mass	
that	can	change	academic	culture?	
•  How	can	we	reach	decision	makers	beyond	the	research	
so=ware	and	research	compu9ng	communi9es?

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Sustainability of HPC Research Computing: Fostering career paths for facilitators, research software engineers, and gateway creators

  • 2. Non-Tradi*onal Academic Career Paths Cyberinfrastructure, research so=ware and science gateways are widely used in •  academia, •  na9onal labs and •  industry Lack of •  incen9ves •  recogni9on •  formal training in academia for facilitators, RSEs and gateway creators èLack of career paths in academia
  • 3. Ini*a*ves Concerned with Career Paths •  ACI-REF Virtual Residency •  Coali9on for Academic Scien9fic Computa9on •  Campus Research Compu9ng Consor9um (CaRCC) •  Campus Champions •  CyberAmbassadors •  Internet2 •  Linux Clusters Ins9tute •  Research So=ware Alliance (ReSA) •  SIGHPC Educa9on Chapter •  So=ware & Data Carpentry •  Science Gateways Community Ins9tute (SGCI) •  UK Research So=ware Engineer Society •  US Research So=ware Engineer Associa9on (US-RSE) •  US Research So=ware Sustainability Ins9tute Conceptualiza9on (URSSI) •  …
  • 4. Panelists •  Marisa Brazil, Purdue University Program Manager at Purdue, Coordinator of Campus Champions •  Dana Brunson, Internet2 Execu9ve Director for Research Engagement at Internet2 and leader of CaRCC and XSEDE Campus Engagement •  Ian Cosden, Princeton University Manager of HPC So=ware Engineering and Chair of Steering Commiee of US-RSE •  Rafael Ferreira da Silva, University of Southern California Co-PI on WRENCH and CUE4CHNG, member of the CI CoE Pilot project •  Daniel S. Katz, University of Illinois Co-PI of URSSI, ins9gator of the US RSE community, co-founder of the WSSSPE event series, and co- founder of ReSA •  Henry Neeman, University of Oklahoma Director of the OU Supercompu9ng Center for Educa9on and Research (OSCER), leader of the XSEDE Campus Engagement, founder and leader of the Virtual Residency
  • 6. Community of Practice, Workforce Development and Diversity Gaps: •  Lack of diversity •  Difficult to scale university/ industry need for talent •  Loss of talent to industry/ reten9on •  Buy-in and Implementa9on of Professionaliza9on of RC roles •  Lack of well-established best prac9ces Advancements: •  Campus Champions – Community of Prac9ce •  Women in HPC •  Workforce Development – students and early career professionals (academia) •  PEARC Conference Series •  CaRCC work Marisa Brazil
  • 7. Professionalization? Starters: •  Terms: Cyberinfrastructure (CI) - Research IT – Research Compu9ng and Data (RCD) personnel •  What was your career path? •  Are we an emerging profession? •  Are we like librarians, physicians, lawyers, or astronomers? Goal: Aract, retain, diversify, and develop CI professionals. Why professionalize? •  Na9onal shortage of RCD personnel •  High employee turnover •  Occupa9onal dis9nc9on from •  (Administra9ve) IT •  Researchers in other disciplines •  Precarious employment and careers Progress: •  Campus Champions - Community of Prac9ce •  Virtual Residency - Training •  CaRCC - hps://carcc.org/products/ •  CI Professionaliza9on Job Families and Career Guide •  Job Family Matrix •  Stakeholders and Value Proposi9ons document •  Facilitators network (People Network includes Researcher-facing Track) What is success? •  Children aspire to be part of the profession. •  Clear paths to enter and advance in the profession (creden9aling). •  Maintain the possibility to enter the profession from other disciplines. Dana Brunson
  • 8. RSE Career Path Gaps •  Overall lack of awareness (knowledge and understanding of the role) •  RSE pipeline: qualified and poten9ally interested RSEs •  Organiza9on/Ins9tu9on: Researchers, Administrators, HR •  Where do RSEs belong in an organiza9on? •  Research staff, IT, etc. •  Incen9ves (credit) and evalua9on •  Career progression for RSEs not in large RSE groups •  Term contracts, so= money, and expecta9ons •  What statement does this make? •  Mid-career+ professionals •  Salary vs. industry Ian Cosden
  • 9. CI workforce development •  Challenges •  2019 NSF Workshop on Connec9ng Large Facili9es (LFs) and CI •  “LFs face an ever-growing challenge in workforce training, development, and reten9on” •  “Compe99on with industry” •  “There are no curricula or cer9fica9ons in the area of CI” •  “Funding uncertainty, differences between research and industry skillsets, differences between research and industry work environments” •  Opportuni9es •  NSF CyberTraining program •  “Address emerging skills required in prepara9on and career growth of the scien9fic and engineering research workforce for innova9on, development, maintenance, and u9liza9on of advanced CI ecosystems” •  WRENCH project (hps://wrench-project.org): development of hands-on pedagogic ac9vi9es for parallel and distributed compu9ng technologies •  CICoE Pilot project (hps://cicoe-pilot.org) •  Defining an overarching en9ty for LFs “that can strategically address workforce development, training, reten9on, career paths, and diversity, as well as the overall career paths for CI-related personnel” Rafael Ferreira da Silva
  • 10. Evaluating people who build stuff •  Research So=ware Engineers and Gateway Creators build stuff •  We should evaluate them based on what they’ve built •  Do others use it, and if so, for what? •  To evaluate papers, we use cita9ons •  Let’s also use cita9ons to evaluate other products (“stuff”): so=ware, gateways, datasets, … •  Cita9on of datasets genng to be normal in some disciplines •  Cita9on of so=ware and gateways less common, but we now have principles, “standardized” metadata and checklists •  S9ll working on adop9on by publishers and ins9tu9ons •  For more info, google “data cita9on”, “so=ware cita9on”, FORCE11, Research Data Alliance (RDA), Research So=ware Alliance (ReSA) Daniel S. Katz
  • 11. Can There be a Career Path for Few? Henry Neeman •  The number of researcher-facing Cyberinfrastructure professionals in non-commercial research ins9tu9ons in the US will never be high (and propor9onal in other countries). •  Federal Laboratories (a few dozen ins9tu9ons): Several per ins9tu9on. •  Not-for-profit research ins9tu9ons (a few hundred): One to a few per ins9tu9on. •  Academic R1s (131): A few to several per ins9tu9on. •  Academic R2s (135): One to a few per ins9tu9on. •  Academic Doctoral Professional (152): One to a few per ins9tu9on. •  Academic Masters-gran9ng (685): Less than one per ins9tu9on. •  Academic Bachelors-gran9ng (837): Far less than one per ins9tu9on. hp://carnegieclassifica9ons.iu.edu/ Best es*mate: Low-to-mid 4 figures of CI Facilitators for non-commercial research. •  The number of RSEs per ins9tu9on is likely to be far lower. •  Comparison: There were an es9mated 116,900 Database Admins in the US in 2018. hps://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-informa9on-technology/database-administrators.htm •  Any career path for CI professionals is highly likely to be treated as an excep9on by most non-commercial ins9tu9ons, not as commonplace. •  Most ins9tu9onal CI teams are very small (one to a few), compared to Enterprise IT teams of dozens or hundreds. •  How do you promote someone if there’s nowhere to promote them to? •  Solu*on: Commercial uptake => many => normal career
  • 12.