NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974

2002 User Survey Results


  • Legend
  • Satisfaction with Training
  • How Useful are these resources for training in HPC?
  • What training methods would you like NERSC to offer?   161 responses
  • Comments about training:   22 responses



SatisfactionAverage Score
Mostly Satisfied 5.5 - 6.4
Somewhat Satisfied 4.5 - 5.4
ImportanceAverage Score
Very Important 2.5 - 3
Somewhat Important 1.5 - 2.4
Significance of Change
significant increase
not significant



Satisfaction with Training:

Training Resource No. of ResponsesAverage ScoreStd. Dev.Change from 2001
New User's Guide 138 6.21 0.95 0.27
NERSC Online Tutorials 108 5.97 1.06 0.00
NERSC Training Web Pages 99 5.89 1.15  
Slides from classes 60 5.33 1.35 0.18
NERSC Training Classes 40 5.12 1.45 -0.42



How Useful are these resources for training in HPC?

Training Resource No. of Responses Average Score Std. Dev.Change from 2001
Online Tutorials 60 2.52 0.68 -0.03
Slides from classes 45 2.13 0.79 0.03
Classes 41 2.00 0.89 -0.07



What training methods would you like NERSC to offer?   161 responses

Training MethodNo. of ResponsesPercentage
General online web documentation 144 89
Online web tutorials on specific topics 126 78
Live DOE Access Grid Classes 21 13
Live web broadcasts with teleconference audio 19 12
Live in-person classes at your site 19 12
Live in-person classes at LBNL 17 11


Comments about training:   22 responses

The training topics users requested most frequently are optimization, debugging, performance analysis, and parallel programming.


11   Suggested topics
4   Didn't use / didn't know about training offerings
4   Use online documentation for training
2   New user concerns
2   Problems with training offerings


Suggested topics:

performance analysis and optimizing debugging

system specific debugging and performance optimizations

machine specific issues, i.e. performance, use of software

As much debugging and compiler (eg. useful flags, specific optimizations) information as possible is always useful.

Profiling and optimization classes would be very useful.

Optimization of applications.

Parallel programming

At the present I don't have any needs, but in the future (5+ years) I intend to write software and will need training to program parallel codes.

The NERSC webpage is a great place to find training material. I would like to learn more about good programming (something in the style of your "good programming practices" section) and about code optimization.

pages on porting are important

I always find it useful to see simple, specific examples of how to run jobs, use software packages, etc.


Haven't used / didn't know about training offerings:

I was not aware of all these useful sources of information. Will use them more in the future.

We have not yet had experience with this, but will do so soon.

We are perhaps not the best folks to ask about this as we have not actually used the training domain very much.

i was not aware some of the remote training options were available or how to get to them


Uses online documentation for training:

I don't need this. Generally I learn what I need from the web.

For various reasons, I never go to actual classes at LBNL for all the training stuff. One reason is that one wants to avoid repeat material. Having the class stuff on the web as html (not just powerpoint which linux machines can't read) is great and more useful in the long run.

I wish I would come to some of the training classes, but it always seems as if I've already got too many things going on. I'm sure I could be using the NERSC facilities more effectively with a little guidance. But the web site has been great at making the training an after thought rather than a necessary step.


New user concerns:

It would be useful to new users if they were sent an email containing information about the resources available - for instance, which machines are available to them and for which machines their usernames and passwords are valid, and maybe a summary of what the different machines are generally used for (development/visualization..). For example, I was not aware that visualization services are available at NERSC - I'm sure this information is located on the website but if you're not looking for it you're not going to see it - even though visualization services would be of interest to me.

Make sure new users know what aids are available


Problems with training offerings:

The one class I tried to follow via teleconferencing was finally cancelled 30 minutes after its supposed start when Access Grid could not be made to work. Perhaps attention should be paid to insuring that such facilities work before classes are scheduled with them.

Remote training classes would help those not being able to travel.