Contributing To the International HPC Certification Forum

As datasets grow in size and complexity faster than personal computational devices are able to perform more researchers seek HPC systems as a solution to their computational problems. However, many researchers lack the familiarity with the environment for HPC, and require training. As the formal education curriculum has not yet responded sufficiently to this pressure, leaving HPC centres to provide basic training.

One proposed solution to this issues has been the international HPC Certification Forum, established in 2018, and developed from the Performance Conscious HPC (PeCoH) project in 2017 with the Hamburg HPC Competence Center (HHCC), which had the explicit goal of creating the broad standards for an “HPC driving license”. Since its establishment, the Forum has developed a detailed skill-tree across multiple branches (e.g., HPC Knowledge, HPC Use, Performance Engineering etc) and levels of competencies (basic, intermediate, expert) where very specific skills have particular competencies. In addition, the Forum has developed a summative examination system and a PGP-signed certificate.

Whilst the Forum separates the examination and certification from curriculum development and content delivery, it also requires a feedback mechanism from HPC education providers. Review of learning objectives and specific competencies, development of branches in depth and breadth all contribute to building a community ecosystem for the development of the Forum and its success. The availability of “HPC CF Endorsed Training”, with certifiable content is a clear avenue for HPC centres to contribute to the Forum which will be elaborated in this presentation with examples from current work.

A presentation to eResearchAustralasia 2020; slidedeck and transcript available.