Building a Pan-European Grid Training Organisation

Dr. Ruediger Berlich, Marcus Hardt, Dr. Marcel Kunze
Institute for Scientific Computing
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1 76344
{berlich, hardt, kunze}

Prof. Dr. Malcolm Atkinson, Dr. David Fergusson
National e-Science Centre
15 South College Street Edinburgh EH8 9AA
United Kingdom

According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, "E-science is computationally intensive science. It is also the type of science that is carried out in highly distributed network environments, or science that uses immense data sets that require grid computing.".

Any sort of science acting in an environment as descibed in this definition has to rely on an existing, mature infrastructure to be effective. Complex software environments require operational support and training to make them accessible to an as wide audience as possible.

International projects and initiatives dealing with e-Science thus have to deal as much with operational issues as with the development of new technical solutions. In the case of the largest Grid project of the EU - EGEE (Enabling Grids for e-Science), 76% of the 32 million Euro budget are invested into service and networking activities (in the sense of "social networking"). User training and induction is a key component of EGEE.

For the first time, the EGEE project has set up a pan-European Grid training organisation. While this organisation has seen a constant improvement of training quality (measured using the numeric analysis of feedback forms filled out by training participants), some moot points remain. The poster tries to relay the experiences made in the first 21 months of operation to people trying to set up similar environments.