The Professionalization of Cyberinfrastructure Personnel?
TimeWednesday, July 312:30pm - 3pm
DescriptionCyberinfrastructure (CI) personnel are critical to next-generation scientific research. Although funding agencies and universities increasingly realize this, enabling resources do not grow as fast as the need for the CI skills and capabilities. There are two main issues with respect to CI personnel: CI personnel are scarce and cyberinfrastructure is different from traditional information technology (“IT”). A potential answer to these issues is to professionalize the CI field. In this article, we draw on organization science to argue that a strong form of professionalization does not make sense for the CI workforce. However, we do encourage the development of standardized roles for CI personnel, and we recommend starting with three such roles: system facing, software facing, and researcher facing CI roles. A credentialing effort around these three roles could strengthen the field as well. We conclude with a discussion of directions forward.