HPC Certification Program

Julian Kunkel

Why it’s needed?

The HPC community has always considered the training of new and existing HPC practitioners to be of high importance to its growth. The significance of training will increase even further in the era of Exascale when HPC encompasses even more scientific disciplines. This diversification of HPC practitioners challenges the traditional training approaches, which are not able to satisfy the specific needs of users, often coming from non-traditionally HPC disciplines and only interested in learning a particular set of skills. HPC centres are struggling to identify and overcome the gaps in users’ knowledge. How should we support prospective and existing users who are not aware of their own knowledge gaps? Most centres provide their own teaching material but most of the time it’s not comprehensive, which forces users to learn from multiple sources. How should intermediate HPC users identify content they have not mastered yet?

What it actually is?

Since there is a generally accepted set of skills and competencies necessary to efficiently use HPC resources, we propose the establishment of an international HPC Certification program that would clearly categorize, define, and examine them. Making clear what skills are required of or recommended for a competent HPC user would benefit both the HPC service providers and practitioners. Moreover, it would allow centres to individually bundle skills together that are most beneficial for specific user roles and scientific domains. Finally, recognized certificates simplify inter-comparison of independently offered courses and provide additional incentive for participation.

How to get involved?

To make sure the program becomes a community-wide and sustainable effort, we invite anyone experienced or interested in HPC teaching and training to participate in the discussion and get involved. If you are interested in join the initiative, send an email to  (join@hpc-certification.org). To receive the latest news, subscribe to the mailing list (https://www.hpc-certification.org/listinfo/).

Several institutions and individuals already agreed to partner and contribute to this effort. We all will be working together to establish governance rules and work on the technical content. Our first meeting will happen at the ISC conference in Frankfurt on Wed June 27thduring lunchtime. For more information visit: https://www.hpc-certification.org/2018/04/25/page.html. We hope to see you there!

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