A recurring theme in our discussion with scientists is how hard it is to get academic credit for building software, but there are some hopeful signs. As Carole Goble pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago, Nucleic Acids Researchruns two special issues every year: one devoted to web servers, and one to databases. As the introduction to the former makes clear, the journal's definition of "web servers" is pretty broad:
The 2012 Web Server Issue of Nucleic Acids Research is the 10th in a series of annual special issues dedicated to web-based software resources for analysis and visualization of molecular biology data...The present issue reports on 102 web servers.
I'd be very interested to find out what kinds of software skills the contributors to these special issues have...