Birds-of-a-feather at ISC HPC


Creating and providing training for practitioners with diverse backgrounds is challenging. There is no common base knowledge possessed by all new users, identifying similarities and differences between training courses is difficult, and the skills expected from a competent HPC user are not well defined. Establishing a common ground for both HPC educators and users is critical to the further growth and development of the community. The main goal of the International HPC Certification Forum is to ease the provision and uptake of training by clearly categorising, defining, and eventually assessing the skills required to efficiently use HPC resources.

The initiative is continuing to gather momentum by attracting collaborations with individuals and organisations, and making significant progress in classifying and defining HPC roles, skills, and prerequisites. The HPC community is starting to adopt the skill definitions by referencing them in education and training activities, however, a lot more work is required to create a comprehensive certification ecosystem. This session is another step in that direction.

This BoF session will introduce the Forum, its activities, and strategy for long-term sustainability, and will present the first certificate and exam. Then we will jointly revise, refine and consolidate the skill standard to ensure the community input and acceptance. To make sure this is an independent community-wide effort, we invite anyone interested in HPC teaching and training to participate in the discussion. Our international consortium aims for the certificates to be recognized and respected globally by the whole HPC community, including the industry.


We will start with a series of short presentations to provide an overview of the initiative, introduce the general strategy for skill mapping and show the first certificate examination process, setting the context for the small group discussions. The Forum members will man the stations providing details about individual tree branches, the examination process, and the content of the first certificate. Participants can become hands-on contributors, moving between the stations to review, add and provide feedback for the certification standard. They can also learn how to use our Wiki and the Freeplane tool to easily contribute to the Skills Tree themselves. The current aim is to fill in any potential gaps, refine the descriptions of each task, and gather as many contributions as possible from the conference attendees. The session will be concluded with a short general audience discussion, and more information about getting involved, including the nomination process for the Forum board members.

**We welcome anyone interested in this conversation to participate. **


Key information  
When Wednesday, June 1, 2022 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM
Where Hall E; Hamburg, Germany

See the official announcement here.


  • Julian Kunkel (University of Göttingen/GWDG)
  • Anja Gerbes (TU Dresden, ZIH)
  • Weronika Filinger (EPCC, The University of Edinburgh)
  • Marc-André Hermanns (IT Center, RWTH Aachen University)


The agenda is split into three sections

Short Presentations

  • Introduction of the HPC Certification ProgramSlides
    Julian Kunkel (University of Göttingen/GWDG)
  • Station organization based on the Example: Software Development SubtreeSlides
    Marc-André Hermanns (IT Center, RWTH Aachen University)

Community Activity

The community is invited to inspect and comment the skill tree and the examination procedure. Members of the certification program will lead the discussion of the individual sections.

We prepare in the room different stations – one per main branch of the skill tree, providing the individual skills of the tree and an overview. We invite attendees to provide feedback, e.g., identify missing skills and ask questions, either using post-its or discussing them with the representatives from the forum.

Wrapup and Panel Discussion

In a panel discussion, the HPC CF members invite participants to bring forward their questions and draw conclusions from the session.