HPC Skills Shortage

Is the HPC workforce ageing out? Or is HPC tech just getting commoditised?

HPC Skills Shortage

Sometimes being a founder really isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. Despite social media gurus portraying it as some sort of panacea, some days the work just owns you rather than you defining your own schedule!   

And sometimes, as a tech founder, it means putting down the IDE and having to deal with budgets, project plans and reading research papers. For two 80hr weeks. Just look at my GitHub commits history 😦

But I digress. In reading those various papers over the last two week I came across this little gem

"There is an acute shortage of large-scale computing professionals, including system architects, data engineers, system operations professionals and software engineers"

From the Government Office for Science’s paper: “Large Scale computing: the case for greater UK coordination”

I guess what surprised me isn’t the fact that we have a HPC skills shortage. Almost anyone working in HPC will tell you that. More the fact that someone in government might be aware of it! 

I have two thoughts in my head about this. Firstly, the HPC engineer seems to be a dying breed. Quite literally. As a population I think we are quite simply ageing out. There doesn’t seem to be a younger generation filling in the ranks behind us either.  I’m not sure know anyone younger than 40 working in HPC! (Shout out below if you are)

The second: perhaps, this is just the way it goes. When I started working in this domain people would still write their own schedulers. I haven’t seen that happen in a while. Maybe there are just fewer of us needed? See here for more on how development gets industrialised

The Evolution and Industrialisation of Software Development
An examination of the evolution of software development in the context of the evolution of previous technological advances.

Anyone have any bright ideas on how to persuade people that HPC is a cool career choice?