Research Computing is a tough field that combines the challenges of many disciplines.
Like IT or commercial software development, we need to deliver real usable tools to support our users; but like research, our projects are often extremely open-ended, with complexity coming not from unvalidated requirements but the uncertaintainty of the new, requiring experimentation and discovery.
Like academia, we often work with team members who are trainees, not employees; like nonprofits we are called on to enact real changes with ongoing programmes or products while funded only by budgets dependent on multiple short-term grants.
But while there are many websites and podcasts, newsletters and tutorials, on the bytes and flops and Mbit/s of research computing, there is very little out there on the genuinely hard day-to-day work of designing, building and managing research computing teams, projects, and software. Commercial or open-source software development, research, nonprofit, IT, business - our field is too different for advice from those fields to routinely directly carry over, even if there are lessons we can learn from them.
This newsletter will have weekly link roundups with discussions relevant to the management of research computing teams, emerging data and infrastructure tools, and research software development. There will be occasional longer writings on those topics - blog posts first shared with newsletter subscribers. Feedback from subscribers will greatly shape the format and content - just hit reply to give me your input.