Training on ARCHER2, what's next?

The first year of the ARCHER2 service has been very challenging, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, we have successfully delivered a fully online training programme.

Since April 2020, a total of 66 days of training were delivered under the ARCHER2 service. We have used Blackboard Collaborate software for live broadcast courses, virtual tutorials, and consultancy sessions. Material from all online courses, including videos of the lectures, have been made freely available on the web after the live event.

Training plans for 2021/22

The ARCHER2 training programme has been designed to meet the training needs of all the diverse users of HPC. It includes courses focusing on the use of centrally-installed research software packages as well programming techniques and languages courses for those who develop their own software. The training programme addresses the training requirements of users with different needs and levels of experience. The course diagram lists the current courses including their description, and guidance on levels and prerequisites.

The training plan for the second year of the ARCHER2 service has been tailored to respond to feedback from course attendees, the ARCHER2 User Training Forum, and the ARCHER2 Training Panel. New courses have been added to make the course catalogue as complete as possible. A provisional schedule of planned courses is available on the ARCHER2 website.

In addition, we introduced some self-service courses. Once registered on the course, users are granted access to ARCHER2 and can work through the materials and practical exercises at their own pace, at times convenient to them. In February, a self-service course on OpenMP was released, followed in May by an MPI self-service course. More than 80 delegates have registered for these self-service courses, already, and we have more self-service courses in planning.

Input from the ARCHER2 User Training forum has been important in the design of the second year of the training programme for the ARCHER2 service. The ARCHER2 User Training forum is composed of members from all the UKRI Scientific Consortia. One course that has been requested by most of the Forum members is a course on Modern Fortran, which has now been included in the training programme.

The programme has been approved by the ARCHER2 Training Panel, which is composed of training experts from the UK and abroad.

The programme began last week with the HPC Carpentry course. Data Carpentry and a Software Carpentry workshops take place in June. Further Upcoming courses will be announced soon.

Future courses will continue to be delivered online until current restrictions are relaxed. Our plan still has the same aims: to address the needs of all users and enable them to make efficient use of the full ARCHER2 system as soon as it is available, later this year. We hope to welcome you to one of our courses soon.