Working in High Performance Computing is one of the most interesting and rewarding roles in IT. Not only does it give you the opportunity to play with some of the latest (and biggest) technology there is, but you also get chance to work closely with researchers at the forefront of their field. HPC is a very specialist area to work in, yet requiring a wide range of skills. However it is a role where you do feel you can make a real contribution to the way researchers work.
A typical HPC administrator is part Linux system admin, part hardware engineer, part software engineer and part storage expert. As well as the technical requirements, working in HPC means working closely with the user community, writing documentation and delivering presentations or running training sessions.
Because of this diverse skills requirement, HPC is notoriously difficult to recruit into. I’ve sat on numerous interview panels, and at times it can be a challenge to get the right people with the right mix of technical skills. With this in mind, the University of Hull was excited to be able to offer two of its recent graduates the opportunity to gain valuable experience working as 12 month interns in the HPC team. The candidates would gain real and practical experience of systems administration, software development, application support and user training, while being key members of the team and supporting the user community.
After a competitive recruitment process, standout candidates David Coulson and Matthew Summerbell joined the HPC team in August 2016. They will be regularly contributing to this blog with their thoughts and experiences as they progress through their year as HPC interns.