Commercial, out-of-the-box software is seldom perfect for advanced scientific applications. Research Technology Specialists work closely with domain scientists to support their unique technology needs. They frequently help understand workflows, apply advanced technology such as HPC to research problems, and help build and optimize software.
As data set sizes grow, and artificial intelligence, machine learning and access to advanced computing capabilities allow domain scientists and engineers to break new barriers. More than ever, they rely on software and hardware specialists who can assist with customized workflows.
How does one become a scientific software specialist? They usually have computer science or related degrees or have advanced degrees in a computational or data intensive field. They must enjoy problem-solving but also working with problems from a number of disciplines. It’s possible they gravitate toward the career track from systems administration, electrical engineering, network administration or client development roles. Some are domain scientists and engineers who learned by doing.