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

  • Tamara Lopez (Creator)
  • Caroline Jay (Creator)
  • Michel Wermelinger (Creator)
  • Helen Sharp (Creator)



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.
Date made available29 Mar 2021
PublisherUniversity of Manchester figshare

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Thomas Ashton Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


  • Research software engineering
  • research software
  • RSE
  • Software engineering
  • Covid-19
  • Pandemic
  • Resilience
  • Computer Software
  • Computer-Human Interaction
  • Open Software

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