Towards an HPC Certification Program

Julian Kunkel, Kai Himstedt, Nathanael Hübbe, Hinnerk Stüben, Sandra Schröer, Michael Kuhn, Matthias Riebisch, Stephan Olbrich, Thomas Ludwig, Weronika Filinger, Jean-Thomas Acquaviva, Anja Gerbes, and Lev Lafayette

Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2019), pp. 88–89

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  author={Julian Kunkel and Kai Himstedt and Nathanael H\"{u}bbe and Hinnerk St\"{u}ben and Sandra Schr\"{o}er and Michael Kuhn and Matthias Riebisch and Stephan Olbrich and Thomas Ludwig and Weronika Filinger and Jean-Thomas Acquaviva and Anja Gerbes and Lev Lafayette},
  title={Towards an HPC Certification Program},
  journal={The Journal of Computational Science Education},
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The HPC community has always considered the training of new and existing HPC practitioners to be of high importance to its growth. 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 competences. Challenges for HPC centres are to identify and overcome the gaps in users' knowledge, while users struggle to identify relevant skills. We have developed a first version of an HPC certification pro- gram that would clearly categorize, define, and examine competences. 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 bundle together skills that are most beneficial for specific user roles and scientific domains. From the perspective of content providers, existing training material can be mapped to competences allowing users to quickly identify and learn the skills they require. Finally, the certificates recognized by the whole HPC community simplify inter-comparison of independently offered courses and provide additional incentive for participation.