COVID_RSE_Preprint.pdf (316.31 kB)

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected working conditions for research software engineers?

Download (316.31 kB)

We report results from a diary study asking research software engineers to reflect on their experience of working during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. Whilst people reported difficulties with working at home (lack of space and equipment; increased childcare responsibilities) the majority were able to continue their work without major disruption. Communication changed significantly and variously, with people reporting better, worse, more frequent and qualitatively different interactions with people. Participants reported both improved productivity, and potential burnout. Overall, research software engineers found the switch to working from home fulltime straightforward in terms of performing the technical parts of their job role, but many found the changes to the organizational structures surrounding them had profound effects on their well-being, through improved flexibility and inclusivity, but also poorer social interaction and increased fatigue.

Funding

Socio-technical resilience in software development (STRIDE)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Find out more...

Socio-technical resilience in software development (STRIDE)

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Find out more...

The UK Software Sustainability Institute: Phase 3

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Find out more...

History

Research ethics approval number

Open University HREC/3542/Elphick