One Year HPC Certification Forum in Retrospective

Julian Martin Kunkel, Kai Himstedt, Weronika Filinger, Jean-Thomas Acquaviva, Anja Gerbes, and Lev Lafayette

Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2020), pp. 29–35

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  author={Julian Martin Kunkel and Kai Himstedt and Weronika Filinger and Jean-Thomas Acquaviva and Anja Gerbes and Lev Lafayette},
  title={One Year HPC Certification Forum in Retrospective},
  journal={The Journal of Computational Science Education},
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The ever-changing nature of HPC has always compelled the HPC community to focus a lot of effort into training of new and existing practitioners. Historically, these efforts were tailored around a typical group of users possessing, due to their background, a certain set of programming skills. However, as HPC has become more diverse in terms of hardware, software and the user background, the traditional training approaches became insufficient in addressing training needs of our community. This increasingly complicated HPC landscape makes development and delivery of new training materials challenging. How should we develop training for users, often coming from non-traditionally HPC disciplines, and only interested in learning a particular set of skills? How can we satisfy their training needs if we don't really understand what these are? It's clear that HPC centres struggle to identify and overcome the gaps in users' knowledge, while users struggle to identify skills required to perform their tasks. With the HPC Certification Forum, we aim to clearly categorise, define, and examine competencies expected from proficient HPC practitioners. In this article, we report the status and progress this independent body has made during the first year of its existence. The drafted processes and prototypes are expected to mature into a holistic ecosystem beneficial for all stakeholders in HPC education.