At DiRAC, we believe one of our most important responsibilities is to offer our community comprehensive training. We have a responsibility to make sure that our HPC resources are used as efficiently as possible and we have an even greater duty of care to make sure you are well trained in advanced IT techniques and are confident in using them.
Essentials Level Training Overview
The DiRAC Essentials Level Training (Formerly the Driving Licence), is a basic introduction to the principles of HPC and the tools needed to work on an HPC system. Once you have completed the course you will be able to do more science of higher impact (and we hope you will have more fun as well!). And if we have a well-trained cohort we can invest in much more powerful equipment that is much closer to the bleeding edge and so allow you to generate the new high impact results that will let you and your group to be seen as leaders in your field.
It will also make you much more employable. Real programming and IT skills are making a big comeback both in Academia and Industry. We need to equip you with these skills to improve your career progression. In short, we are trying to create a virtuous circle that will benefit both you, your science and your group’s scientific reputation.
Essentials Level Content
The Essentials Training assumes a familiarity with desktop computers, but no programming, Linux or HPC experience is required. For our users who have a small amount of existing knowledge from undergraduate experience the material is intended to refresh prior knowledge and in some cases, fill in any gaps.
The training material for all our modules is presented as a list of links to external sources. There is a vast amount of training material available on the internet, some of which is useful, some of which not so much (!) so we’ve gathered together in one place the links we think will be most helpful to you as you start to use HPC. We have tried to cover the material in both text and video format so there is some overlap, but after working through the modules you will know the Essentials of how to work with, and get the best out of, our HPC systems.
Accessing the Training
We ask all our users to register for an account to get access to our training portfolio. You will also have the option during registration to sign up for direct email alerts for appropriate courses and other training opportunities.
To sign-up for a Training Account, Register Here. If you are a DiRAC User with a SAFE account, we encourage you to use the same username when you register for your Training account.
Once you have registered you will be able to Access the Training Here.
Essentials Level Test
The Essentials Level training culminates in a short on-line test – the training material provided covers all aspects of HPC competency that are included in the test. The test is mandatory for those who are studying for advanced degrees, such as M.Sc. and Ph.D., and those employed as Post-Doctoral Research Assistants/Associates who have less than two years HPC experience.
For more information on the test please see our dedicated Test Page.
During the registration process we ask you to complete a small number of multiple-choice questions designed to assess your current skill-level in the various training areas, and your motivation for taking the training. The survey only takes a couple of minutes to complete.
If you have taken advantage of the training, after you have taken the test you will also be able to re-assess your skill-level in light of the training, tell us how you think your skill-set has changed and give us any feedback you think would be useful.
We use the information from the pre- and post-training surveys to help us better understand the needs of our user community and to identify areas where we can improve and more closely target our training offering to those needs. Our aim is to continually develop and innovate DiRAC’s training offering as those needs evolve.
The information you give will not be shared with anyone outside our small training team and we will never share your personal contact information with any external organisation. Once matched-up, your responses to the pre- and post-training surveys are fully anonymised before any analysis is undertaken.