Fellows newsletter: October 2022

Posted by j.laird on 4 October 2022 - 2:00pm
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Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Welcome to this month's SSI Fellows Newsletter which shares activities and opportunities taking place within the SSI Fellows' community. Read on for:

  • Fellows' Spotlight: Stephan Druskat
  • September 2022 Community Call recap
  • Fellows' and related activities
  • Upcoming events and calls

Fellows’ Spotlight

Stephan Druskat, Doctoral researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute for Software Technology, Group Sustainable Software Engineering

  • Updates from call - For my Fellowship, I had an eclectic list of things I wanted to do around software sustainability, and actually managed to do some of the things during my funding period. I also realized that the Fellowship didn’t end when funding did, and that it was the people I met through it that really mattered: I had found my tribe and have kept collaborating with other Fellows and the community ever since. One of the more noteworthy outcomes of the Fellowship is the continued development of the Citation File Format (CFF, https://citation-file-format.github.io/), which provides citation information for software. Based on CFF, citation information has been viewed around 1.2 million times on GitHub, since they implemented support for the format in 2021. Around 12,000 CFF files on GitHub also provide evidence for how people use the format, and allow the project to find issues and improve CFF in the future.
  • My non-work highlight - One of the best experiences this year was finally getting to travel around Ireland with the family - our third attempt (thanks, pandemic). It was great to see our three kids enjoying the nomadic lifestyle. One of the highlights was definitely walking to the top of Diamond Hill in Connemara together, in really stormy weather. Granted, the red route didn’t take “och, just 15 minutes, kids”, but we had a great adventure and gorgeous views.
  • My recommendations - If you don’t obsess over every single output of the SST Records label in chronological order (in which case you would want to listen to the You Don’t Know Mojack podcast), I could recommend (re-) reading Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space novels, finishing with 2021’s Inhibitor Phase.

Community Call Recap 

During the September 2022 SSI Fellows Community Call, we heard a Fellows’ update from Stephan Druskat (2018) - you can watch the recording here. In breakout rooms, we discussed sustainable career development discussion topics for CW23 and professional goals for the next year.

Fellows’ and related activities

  • Code for Thought - Code for Thought is a podcast on software, engineering, research and anything in between launched by Peter Schmidt. You can also hear interviews with SSI Fellows in the “Meet the Fellows” series which so far includes conversations with Connah Kendrick, James Byrne, Tom Russell, Jesper Sören Dramsch, and Sophia Batchelor.
     
  • Mental health survey analysis - Dave Horsfall was awarded an SSI Fellowship to advocate for mental health in the RSE community. He is currently running a UK survey to collect information about the mental health of RSEs, and is looking for collaborators to help with the subsequent analysis and report. He is particularly interested to speak with anyone who has experience of analysing survey data (even just a quick informal chat to point him in the right direction would be really appreciated). A final report will be published through the SSI, and he is also open to writing up the survey as a collaborative paper or chapter. For more information, contact Dave via email.

Upcoming events and calls

  • Ally Skills training - Being an Ally is using your privilege to stand up for others when they are marginalised or mistreated, when it is safe and effective to do so. Getting there takes practice and careful thought. Run by qualified trainers from community org Open Life Science.
  • Festival of Maintenance 2022 - Join the Maintain community for a day of fascinating talks with world-class practitioners, maintaining everything from technology to culture, democracy to the environment.
  • Call for Candidates for the 2023 Carpentries Executive Council - The nomination period is now open for community-elected & council-elected positions. You can learn more about the roles and what they entail in this blog post written by the current Executive Council.
     
  • Research Software Camp: Supporting Mental Health - The autumn Research Software Camp will address approaches to wellbeing and mental health in research software. There will be two live sessions: a panel discussion and a workshop on mindfulness for researchers who use or develop code for academia, alongside resources addressing varying approaches to wellbeing and mental health in research software. Our team will be running a parallel social media campaign using #RSCamps on Twitter. This event is open to all researchers, who use and/or develop code in their research, and Research Software Engineers from all career stages and areas.
  • Collaborations Workshop 2023 (CW23) - Save the date! The Software Sustainability Institute’s Collaborations Workshop series brings together researchers, developers, innovators, managers, funders, publishers, policy makers, leaders and educators to explore best practices and the future of research software. The theme of CW23 is Sustainable Career Development for those in the research software community: looking after your software, your career, and yourself. 

The monthly SSI Fellows Newsletter aims to share activities and opportunities taking place within the SSI Fellows' community. The newsletter will share a summary of the latest community call, as well as contributions and calls for collaboration from the SSI Fellows. We are looking for newsletter items related to events, webinars, workshops, resources, job and funding opportunities that SSI Fellows are involved in or looking for support with (submit via this Google Form). If you have any questions, please contact Community Manager Rachael Ainsworth at r.ainsworth@software.ac.uk. 

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