đŸ‡šđŸ‡© April 2024: Meet Richard Dushime

Image credit: Richard Dushime

Our April spotlight shines on Richard Dushime from The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Richard is the Secretary at RSEAA24, the RSE Asia Australia unconference, and an open-source contributor.

📣 Exciting News

We’re thrilled to present our first bilingual spotlight. For this edition, Richard graciously shared his insights in both English and French, enhancing accessibility and engagement for our French-speaking community members.

In short

đŸŽŒ What is your favourite song?

Well, I may not have a specific one but generally slow music is my favorite, and it depends on my mood anyway.

Eh bien, je n’en ai peut-ĂȘtre pas de spĂ©cifique, mais en gĂ©nĂ©ral, la musique lente est ma prĂ©fĂ©rĂ©e, et cela dĂ©pend de mon humeur de toute façon.

📚 Can you describe your background and your current role?

What did you study?

I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems at Bugema University in Kampala, Uganda, and I am currently seeking admission for a Master’s program in Data Science or Computer science-related course.

J’ai obtenu une licence en systĂšmes d’information d’entreprise Ă  l’UniversitĂ© Bugema de Kampala, en Ouganda, et je cherche actuellement Ă  ĂȘtre admise Ă  un programme de maĂźtrise en science des donnĂ©es ou en informatique.

What is the title of your current role?

Currently, I hold the position of Secretary at RSEAA24, the RSE Asia Australia unconference, and am an open-source contributor.

Actuellement, j’occupe le poste de secrĂ©taire Ă  RSEAA24, la non-confĂ©rence RSE Asia Australia, et je suis un contributeur open-source.

Give a one-sentence summary of what you do in this role

In my role as Secretary at RSEAA24, I coordinate and participate in weekly meetings, maintain the website, execute delegated tasks, update documentation, and ensure continuous improvement and adherence to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion standards. Additionally, as an open-source contributor, I contribute to various projects like The Turing Way, Forrt, Student-intern-organiser at WEHI, and more.

En tant que secrĂ©taire de RSEAA24, je coordonne et participe aux rĂ©unions hebdomadaires, je maintiens le site web, j’exĂ©cute les tĂąches qui me sont dĂ©lĂ©guĂ©es, je mets Ă  jour la documentation et je veille Ă  l’amĂ©lioration continue et au respect des normes en matiĂšre de diversitĂ©, d’Ă©quitĂ© et d’inclusion. En outre, en tant que contributeur de logiciels open source, je participe Ă  divers projets tels que The Turing Way, Forrt, Student-intern-organiser Ă  WEHI, et bien d’autres encore.

How did you get involved with RSE communities?

My journey into Research Software Engineering (RSE) began through my involvement in open-source communities. It was through these communities that I met mentors like Elisee Jafsia, who introduced me to initiatives like Open Life Science Mentorship Training. Collaborating with individuals like Rowland Mosbergen on open-source projects further fueled my interest. Eventually, I was introduced to RSE communities and events, such as the RSEAA23 Unconference. Actively participating in the RSEAA23 organizing committee, allowed me to connect with RSE’s and explore opportunities within the field.

Mon parcours vers le gĂ©nie logiciel de recherche (RSE) a commencĂ© grĂące Ă  mon implication dans les communautĂ©s open source. C’est grĂące Ă  ces communautĂ©s que j’ai rencontrĂ© des mentors comme Elisee Jafsia, qui m’a fait dĂ©couvrir des initiatives comme l’Open Life Science Mentorship Training. Collaborer avec des individus comme Rowland Mosbergen sur des projets open source a encore alimentĂ© mon intĂ©rĂȘt. Finalement, j’ai dĂ©couvert les communautĂ©s et les Ă©vĂ©nements RSE, tels que la non-confĂ©rence RSEAA23. Participer activement au comitĂ© d’organisation du RSEAA23 m’a permis de nouer des liens avec des RSE et d’explorer des opportunitĂ©s dans le domaine.

What inspired you to get involved in community building?

My inspiration to get involved in community building stemmed from personal challenges I faced during my early university years. Coming from a French-speaking background, I initially struggled to adapt to school activities conducted in English. However, joining a club in my second year provided a supportive network and helped me explore opportunities beyond the university. Recognizing the benefits of community support, I delved deeper into understanding and building communities. Eventually, I became the lead for Google Developer Student Club( GDSC) , which opened doors to various global communities. My inspiration lies in the mutual assistance and benefits fostered within communities.

Mon inspiration pour m’impliquer dans le dĂ©veloppement communautaire dĂ©coule des dĂ©fis personnels auxquels j’ai Ă©tĂ© confrontĂ© au cours de mes premiĂšres annĂ©es universitaires. Issu d’un milieu francophone, j’ai d’abord eu du mal Ă  m’adapter aux activitĂ©s scolaires menĂ©es en anglais. Cependant, rejoindre un club au cours de ma deuxiĂšme annĂ©e m’a permis de bĂ©nĂ©ficier d’un rĂ©seau de soutien et m’a aidĂ© Ă  explorer des opportunitĂ©s au-delĂ  de l’universitĂ©. Reconnaissant les avantages du soutien communautaire, j’ai approfondi la comprĂ©hension et la construction des communautĂ©s. Finalement, je suis devenu responsable du Google Developer Student Club (GDSC), qui a ouvert les portes de diverses communautĂ©s mondiales. Mon inspiration rĂ©side dans l’entraide et les bĂ©nĂ©fices favorisĂ©s au sein des communautĂ©s.

What have you learned from contributing to Open Source projects?

Contributing to open-source projects has been a great learning experience. It’s taught me about sharing knowledge and supporting others. I’ve also learned to work in a dynamic environment where things can change quickly. It’s a continuous learning process that has enriched my skills and broadened my perspectives.

Contribuer Ă  des projets open source a Ă©tĂ© une formidable expĂ©rience d’apprentissage. Cela m’a appris Ă  partager des connaissances et Ă  soutenir les autres. J’ai Ă©galement appris Ă  travailler dans un environnement dynamique oĂč les choses peuvent changer rapidement. C’est un processus d’apprentissage continu qui a enrichi mes compĂ©tences et Ă©largi mes perspectives.

đŸ’Œ Describe a typical workday… Expand specifically on the amount of time you spend coding

How much time do you spend coding?

I focus primarily on open-source software development, which involves coding most of the time.

Je me concentre principalement sur le développement de logiciels open source, ce qui implique de coder la plupart du temps.

How many projects do you work on?

Currently, I contribute to various projects, including The Turing Way, Forrt, Servo, RSEAA24, and many more

Actuellement, je contribue Ă  divers projets, dont The Turing Way, Forrt, Servo, RSEAA24, et bien d’autres encore.

Give some keywords that summarise the topics of your projects.

Infrastructure, GitOps, DevOps, Code, Documentation.

Infrastructure, GitOps, DevOps, Code, Documentation.

How often do you work with non-coding researchers?

Not often

Pas souvent

đŸ« Tell us more about the organisation where you work?

What is their primary objective?

The primary objective is to maintain an active, diverse, and sustainable RSE community while defining the role of RSEs within the eResearch, Academic, and Professional context, and forming connections between individuals and organizations.

L’objectif principal est de maintenir une communautĂ© RSE active, diversifiĂ©e et durable tout en dĂ©finissant le rĂŽle des RSE dans le contexte de la recherche Ă©lectronique, acadĂ©mique et professionnel, et en Ă©tablissant des liens entre les individus et les organisations.

How many people in your organisation are involved in research software development (a thumbsuck is okay)?

The RSE Association of Australia and New Zealand (RSE-AUNZ) currently has 462 members. The RSE Asia Association has recently been established and has 85 members.

L’Association RSE d’Australie et La Nouvelle-ZĂ©lande (RSE-AUNZ) compte actuellement 462 membres. La RSE Asia Association a rĂ©cemment Ă©tĂ© crĂ©Ă© et compte 85 membres.

💡 Where do you get training and support?

Which communities of practice are you part of?

Most of my training and support comes from active involvement in different open-source communities and various student communities and clubs at universities.

La plupart de ma formation et de mon soutien proviennent de mon implication active dans différentes communautés open source et dans diverses communautés et clubs étudiants des universités.

What training has had an impact on your current career?

Participating in the OLS (Open Life Science) mentorship program has significantly contributed to my career growth. Also participating in a practical diversity and inclusion fellowship at PDI

La participation au programme de mentorat OLS (Open Life Science) a contribuĂ© de maniĂšre significative Ă  mon Ă©volution de carriĂšre. Participer Ă©galement Ă  une bourse pratique sur la diversitĂ© et l’inclusion au PDI

💭 Do you see yourself as an academic, researcher, software engineer, technician
? All of it? Something else? A mix of one or two terms?

While I currently focus on software development through open-source contributions, I see myself transitioning into the role of a Research Software Engineer (RSE) in the future. This allows me to leverage coding while also supporting the research community.

Alors que je me concentre actuellement sur le dĂ©veloppement de logiciels via des contributions open source, je me vois Ă©voluer vers le rĂŽle d’ingĂ©nieur logiciel de recherche (RSE) Ă  l’avenir. Cela me permet de tirer parti du codage tout en soutenant la communautĂ© des chercheurs.

⛔ What kind of barriers do you face in your work?

Finding paid opportunities to enhance my skill set or my RSE experience

Trouver des opportunités rémunérées pour améliorer mes compétences ou mon expérience RSE

😍 What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

I find great satisfaction in helping others when they encounter challenges and seeing growth and progress within open-source communities.

Je trouve une grande satisfaction Ă  aider les autres lorsqu’ils rencontrent des dĂ©fis et Ă  constater la croissance et les progrĂšs au sein des communautĂ©s open source.

🆘 What would make things easier for you and support you in your work?

Having clearer plans and guidelines for the tasks would help me.

Avoir des plans et des lignes directrices plus clairs pour les tĂąches m’aiderait.

🔭 What are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to opportunities to pursue a Master’s degree in Data Science or a related field, organizing the RSEAA24 event in September, and collaborating and participating in various workshops and events.

J’attends avec impatience des opportunitĂ©s de poursuivre un master en science des donnĂ©es ou dans un domaine connexe, d’organiser l’Ă©vĂ©nement RSEAA24 en septembre, et de collaborer et participer Ă  divers ateliers et Ă©vĂ©nements.

💬 Please share the most helpful career advice you’ve received that you want to share with other Africans in similar roles.

Learning never ends, and embracing change is essential for personal and professional growth. Additionally, helping others improves your knowledge and contributes to collective advancement.

L’apprentissage ne s’arrĂȘte jamais et accepter le changement est essentiel Ă  la croissance personnelle et professionnelle. De plus, aider les autres amĂ©liore vos connaissances et contribue Ă  l’avancement collectif.