The Growing Importance of a Tech Savvy Astronomy and Astrophysics Workforce [article]

Dara Norman, Vandana Desai , Eric Bellm, Arfon Smith, Chad Schafer (Carnegie Mellon University), Gautham Narayan, Erik Tollerud, Brigitta Sipocz (DIRAC Institute University of Washington), Heloise Stevance (University of Auckland University of Sheffield), Timothy Pickering, Manodeep Sinha (Swinburne University of Technology ARC Centre of Excellence for All Sky Astrophysics in 3 Dimensions ASTRO 3D), Joseph Harrington (University of Central Florida), Jeyhan Kartaltepe (+7 others)
<span title="2019-10-17">2019</span> <i > arXiv </i> &nbsp; <span class="release-stage" >pre-print</span>
Fundamental coding and software development skills are increasingly necessary for success in nearly every aspect of astronomical and astrophysical research as large surveys and high resolution simulations become the norm. However, professional training in these skills is inaccessible or impractical for many members of our community. Students and professionals alike have been expected to acquire these skills on their own, apart from formal classroom curriculum or on-the-job training. Despite the
more &raquo; ... recognized importance of these skills, there is little opportunity to develop them - even for interested researchers. To ensure a workforce capable of taking advantage of the computational resources and the large volumes of data coming in the next decade, we must identify and support ways to make software development training widely accessible to community members, regardless of affiliation or career level. To develop and sustain a technology capable astronomical and astrophysical workforce, we recommend that agencies make funding and other resources available in order to encourage, support and, in some cases, require progress on necessary training, infrastructure and policies. In this white paper, we focus on recommendations for how funding agencies can lead in the promotion of activities to support the astronomy and astrophysical workforce in the 2020s.
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