Research Software Engineers (RSEs) are the people that closely collaborate with researchers to understand the challenges they face, and then develop research software to provide the answers. Some have started as researchers who spent a lot of time developing software to do their research. Others have started as software developers who have developed a strong affinity with scientific research.
While the RSEs are extremely valuable to the scientific community, they currently lack a formal place in the academic system. This means there is no easy way to recognise their contribution, to reward them, or to represent their views.
Without a name, it is difficult for people to rally around a cause, that is why the term Research Software Engineer was created. We are now working, together with RSE associations in the UK and Germany, to raise awareness of the role, and to bring the RSE community in the Netherlands together.