Approaching Exascale: Best Practices for Training a Diverse Workforce using Hackathons

Izumi Barker, Mozhgan Kabiri Chimeh, Kevin Gott, Thomas Papatheodore, and Mary P. Thomas

Volume 14, Issue 1 (July 2023), pp. 17–22

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  author={Izumi Barker and Mozhgan Kabiri Chimeh and Kevin Gott and Thomas Papatheodore and Mary P. Thomas},
  title={Approaching Exascale: Best Practices for Training a Diverse Workforce using Hackathons},
  journal={The Journal of Computational Science Education},
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Given the anticipated growth of the high-performance computing market, HPC is challenged with expanding the size, diversity, and skill of its workforce while also addressing post-pandemic distributed workforce protocols and an ever-expanding ecosystem of architectures, accelerators, and software stacks. As we move toward exascale computing, training approaches need to address how to best prepare future computational scientists and enable established domain researchers to stay current and master tools needed for exascale architectures. This paper explores adding hybrid and virtual Hackathons to the training mix to bridge traditional programming curricula and hands-on skills needed among diverse communities. We outline current learning and development programs available; explain the benefits and challenges in implementing hackathons for training using experience gained from the Open Hackathons program (formerly the GPU Hackathons program); discuss how to engage diverse communities—from early career researchers to veteran scientists; and recommend best practices for implementing these events.