The community of Research Software Engineers RSE in Germany has a home: On November 26, 2018 the association "de-RSE e.V. - Gesellschaft für Forschungssoftware" was founded in the rooms of the Cluster of Excellence "Bild-Wissen-Gestaltung" of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. RSE is a term for people who develop software in research. It includes programming scientists, computer scientists in research, software managers, and other participants, for example from the IT infrastructures of research institutions - regardless of degree or experience.
More than twenty participants from all over Germany took part in the founding meeting in Berlin and elected the board of the association, which also includes employees from institutes of the Helmholtz Association. In addition to Bernadette Fritzsch from the Alfred Wegener Institute- Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research AWI, Martin Hammitzsch from the GFZ eScience Centre will be active on this committee. As of January 2019, further people or institutions may become members or supporting members. The first regular general meeting will take place from 4 to 6 June 2019 during the "deRSE19" conference organised by the Society at Telegrafenberg in Potsdam.
Research software plays an indispensable role in the digitization of research and science. It enables the acquisition, processing and evaluation of research data and the modelling and simulation of complex processes in the first place. Thus, software significantly influences research results and their quality. In other countries, associations like de-RSE e.V. are already established. The association now founded in Germany will become part of an international RSE network that strives to ensure the sustainability and verifiability of scientific software development as part of the research process, improve the perception of the role of research software, its development and the people involved in it, establish scientific software development as a core competence of young researchers, create a career profile with officially recognized career paths and integrate RSE activities into higher-level concepts such as Open Scholarship and eScience. (ph)