The RCT Newsletter started in Jan 2020, and covers all aspects of managing research computing teams. You can view previous posts here.

The intended audience

  • Trained in or experienced with research
  • Technically capable in R&D computing
  • Responsible, or intending to be responsible, for managing or designing R&D computing teams or efforts
  • Looking for information on and a community around managing R&D computing teams and efforts

The format

  • Weekly link roundups with occasional longer posts
  • Occasional (no more than weekly) short emails with links
  • Reply to any message (it’ll go directly to me and only to me) with thoughts, comments, and feedback

The content

Feedback from subscribers will greatly shape the topics we cover. Likely early topics include:

  • Hiring
    • Hiring from outside research, writing job ads, onboarding, the responsibility ladder
  • Managing
    • One-on-Ones, giving feedback, coaching and training, distributed teams
  • “Managing upwards”
    • Building and sustaining support for projects, shepharding multi-institution collaborations, communications
  • Career paths, for our team members and ourselves
  • R&D computing and academic credit
  • Automation and reproducibility
  • R&D Software planning and development throughout the lifecycle
  • Grants and Sustainability
  • Working with reserach communities.

Issues that would not be on topic include GPU vs FPGA, POSIX vs Object stores, Python vs C++, etc; on the other hand, a story about why and how an R&D computing team planned and succeeded at a migration from GPU/POSIX/Python to FPGA/Object Store/C++ might well be on topic.

(Jonathan’s twitter rants about things like MPI and exascale will not be on topic for this newsletter.)

Does this sound interesting? You can sign up for the Buttondown-powered newsletter below, or directly at this link:


Q: So you are an expert on this stuff, right?
A: Absolutely not. I do have a lot of experience in this area from a lot of different perspectives, but more importantly I continue trying to learn and improve, and anyone interested is welcome to join as I write my way through that process..

Q: Will the posts be archived anywhere?
A: That wasn’t originally the intention, but people seem to prefer it; the archives can currently be found here.

Q: Will my email address get sold/used for anything else?
A: No. I’ll use it only for sending you my thoughts on R&D computing teams, and when you no longer care to continue hearing those thoughts, unsubscribe at any time, and I’ll remove the unsubscribed member’s information routinely. No one other than me and whatever tool I’m using at the time to send out the newsletter will ever have access to your email address.

Q: How much tracking is being done in the emails?
A: None; I’ve turned off all tracking and analytics for the emails. That means the only way I find out if you’re reading them, liked what you read, and were interested in some parts more than others is when you email me to tell me! So please at any time just hit reply (the email will only go to me) and tell me your opinions about what you’ve read or what you’d like to see more of.


Below are resources on intended topics that I’ve found to be useful in the past. I’ll keep this list updated with sources that come up in the link roundups.