Computing in Science & Engineering has published a two-part special issue on research software engineers (RSEs) in the United States. The term is used increasingly to describe members of the research software ecosystem who bring knowledge, expertise, and interest in developing high-quality software to this community's efforts to advance the frontiers of research. Although the people in this role do not always carry the title of RSE, they have long been critical both to the success of the research software and to the research project of which it is a part. Given the increasing complexity of the research landscape, which involves not only high-performance computing (HPC), but also data science, machine learning, and complex workflows on leading-edge computer systems, RSEs are essential to developing a sustainable research software ecosystem.