A group of us (*) recently met in Denver for a 1-day “re-sync” meeting to brainstorm on where CaRCC is– in terms of outcomes and lessons learned– and also, importantly, to discuss where CaRCC should be going. We summarized the activities and outcomes of each of the present committees. Broad themes we discussed included the need to avoid duplication of efforts, to embrace and honor existing identities, to fill gaps, and for CaRCC to serve as a catalytic space to define professionalization in ways that campuses can leverage and that represents connections across communities. Success that has already happened is that many institutions
have recognized the need for researcher-facing people to help researchers with their computing and data resource needs. Further development of an engagement framework and defining the broader ecosystem is on-going work.
The “Building Community: People Network” worked to further the concepts of various research computing “facings”, including researcher-facing, systems-facing, stakeholder-facing and software/data-facing identities. The initial focus was on developing the researcher-facing
track building on ACI-REF, the virtual residency, Campus Champions, and related groups. Periodic “researcher-facing” calls and e-mail have occurred, noting that this is somewhat redundant to related efforts and there needs to be better coordination, less duplication, and collaboration to further develop the architecture and to provide a platform to support the efforts. Moving forward, the “People Network Sustaining” group will work to develop the systems-facing track, establish cycling leadership, identify working groups, and coordinate and collaborate with existing and emerging communities.
The “CI Professionalization & Workforce Development” group developed a framework to guide conversations between HR leaders and research computing and data leaders around attracting, retaining and developing talent. So far, this material has been used on a number of campuses to educate leadership, however this needs to be better documented and needs to find an appropriate platform to sit on as a living document. At the re-sync, elements of a 2025 vision for a CI professional society were envisioned, for example to get recognition of the value of the CI profession to faculty/graduate students as a potential career and important profession, and a profession that needs greater human and expertise diversity. Ideas on next steps were discussed with short-term deliverables including executive “big picture” summary/slides of the document, development of a socialization plan, and tracking use, along with developing a transition to a sustaining group on broader CI professionalization.
The “Stakeholders and Value Proposition” group developed a document defining potential stakeholders and value propositions. Originally this was for CaRCC, however it needs to be generalized or broadened to reference the broader CI ecosystem and profession. Next steps are to convert this to a more generic document and establish a platform to support this as an interactive document. Additional short term goals are to prioritize among stakeholder groups for outreach and validation of the value propositions followed by field tests by CaRCC members on our respective campuses.
The “Resource Sharing” group has been working towards a document that provides a range of views on the feasibility and models for resource sharing. Questions arose as to whether CaRCC is the appropriate group to develop the framework or rather should it simply keep aware of what others are already doing and to avoid duplication as the models develop and evolve. More about the future of this work group at a later date.
Additional prospective working groups:
“Common Infrastructure Tools, Platforms, Processes, and Roles” working group – The goal is to harden the internal CaRCC organizational structure, communications and web presence, and to provide definitions of working groups, interest groups and sustaining groups along with engineering a common infrastructure.
“Future of Research Computing and Data” working group – In collaboration with the larger community and ecosystem, work towards developing a vision of the future needs in research computing.
“Ecosystem Workshop Planning” working group – Defining and planning for a workshop that brings the larger CI and research computing and data ecosystem together to highlight plans, develop synergies, foster collaboration, and fill gaps among the different communities.
Requests for participation in the various working groups or committees will come out soon, not limited to CaRCC council members or institutional contacts or even CaRCC members!
*People involved in the re-sync: Jim Bottum, Dana Brunson, Thomas Cheatham, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Thomas Hauser, Ruth Marinshaw, Lauren Michael, Jackie Milhans, Henry Neeman, Patrick Schmitz, Andy Sherman, Barr von Oehsen, Jim Wilgenbusch, and Scott Yockel.