Software Engineering for Research Software (SE4RS'23)

July 23-27, 2023

Held in conjunction with PEARC'23

Portland, OR USA

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The development and use of Research Software is increasingly important in a diverse range of research domains, including those relevant to the PEARC attendees. This increasing importance suggests the need to better understand appropriate software engineering practices for its design, development, maintenance, evolution, and sustainability. As a result of the variety and complexity of the research domains addressed by this software, it is unclear to what extent existing software engineering practices and tools developed for industrial software are efficient and effective for its development. Appropriate software engineering approaches must account for the salient characteristics of the research-oriented development environment. This workshop addresses the need for cross-domain interaction by providing a platform for members of the software engineering community and members of the research software community to interact with each other by sharing perspectives and presenting findings relevant to research, practice, and education. A significant portion of the workshop is devoted to focused interaction among the participants with the goal of generating a research agenda to improve the process, practice, tools, techniques, and experimental methods used in the development of software engineering for research software.


Most venues are either SE-focused or domain-focused (i.e. computational chemistry or computational hydrology), and rarely provide opportunities to publish results for unique SE challenges faced by scientific software developers. Our goals are to:
  • Provide a venue for members of the Software Engineering and Research Software communities to discuss issues relevant of common interest.
  • Discuss why some Software Engineering practices used in industry are considered inappropriate for use in Research Software projects.
  • Identify aspects of Software Engineering that should be considered for Research Software education programs.
  • Identify similarities and differences in the diversity challenges faced in Industrial Software Engineering and Research Software Engineering.
  • Understand whether practices from Research Software Engineering may be suitable for software development in non-IT companies.
  • Identify emerging topics where Software Engineering practices in industry and academia may benefit from similar approaches e.g. engineering for unreliability at exascale
  • Identify key areas of study where participants agree there is a lack of existing data or studies.
  • Support the building of a common research agenda to address the complex software development issues typical of research software.
  • Provide a venue for sharing early work and work-in-progress to obtain feedback from the wider community.
In addition to the informal interactions among the participants, the workshop will produce concrete outcomes including an increased level of understanding between members of the two target communities and the identification of new collaborative studies based on the discussions.

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by Jeffrey Carver