Ekeka Abazie, New to HPC Support Team, Interviews Kevin Ayala, an HPC Support Veteran
Ekeka: What are your goals as a member of HPC?
Kevin: I want to learn more about computers in general and more about new technology that is coming out.
Ekeka: What brought you to join HPC?
Kevin: A total accident. I was there to get my computer fixed, but they had a talk about video games. Ms. Shklyar was talking about 3D printing which interested me a lot. When I told her [that I was interested], she encouraged me to apply.
Ekeka: What is the coolest thing you’ve done in HPC so far?
Kevn: Raspberry Pi, because it’s a tiny computer that I’m homing from my own computer which looks a lot like what hackers do.
Ekeka: How does working in HPC differ from that of other jobs?
Kevin: A lot of learning; it really encourages you to do what you want to do. It doesn’t require experience but allows you to take on projects and learn as you go.
Ekeka: What recommendations do you have for new recruits to HPC?
Kevin: Don’t be afraid to try out new projects. Everyone is learning on the go and you can, too.
Ekeka: What were some initial problems you encountered when you joined HPC?
Kevin: Vocabulary; and since I joined halfway in the semester, I felt like I needed to catch up, because everyone seemed to know so much more.
Ekeka: What is your planned major or area of expertise?
Kevin: Computer science and I will try and double major in Cognitive Science.
Ekeka: How has HPC advanced your understanding of computer science?
Kevin: A lot; I learned about computer networking, a lot of technical terms, and biggest of all, I learned about computer concepts [and how to use them]. That little foundation allows you to get more information easily.
Ekeka: Describe your most interesting interaction with Ms. Shklyar?
Kevin: We were working on the 3D printer one day, and she said to switch it out with a laser engraver. When we asked her how to do it, she said that she didn’t know and handed me and my friend a manual.
Ekeka: What are some changes that you’ve noticed in HPC since you first started?
Kevin: A lot more people, and a deeper focus on cloud services and High Performance Computing. When I first joined, it started off more focused on the specific technologies that were in the lab.