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SNIC All Hands Meeting

Gert Svensson, PDC

PDC was the local organizer of the first SNIC All Hands meeting which was held at Såstaholm, north of Stockholm, on the 9th and 10th of December 2015. SNIC is the acronym for the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, the body that organizes the academic use of high performance computing (HPC) in Sweden. Gert Svensson from PDC chaired the organization committee for the meeting with Anna Jänis, Head of Centre at the National Supercomputer Centre, Linköping, and Ann-Charlotte Sonnhammer from SNIC as members. The purpose of the All Hands meeting was to share new information about SNIC and the SNIC activities and projects, from both the technical and organizational perspectives, with all the staff at the six HPC centres in Sweden that are funded by SNIC. 

Around 80 people from all the SNIC Centres took an active part in the discussions.

A large part of the meeting was devoted to discussions about different ways to make SNIC and the interactions between SNIC and the SNIC staff more efficient and to improve the collaboration between the SNIC centres. To facilitate these discussions, Lena Mc Evenue and Sven Schelin from Gällöfsta Perlan Ledarskap were brought in to function as discussion leaders.

Lena Mc Evenue and Sven Schelin summarize a discussion about improving SNIC.

The program started with a thorough presentation of the visions and activities of SNIC by the SNIC Director, Jacko Koster. During the subsequent discussion, we divided the participants into groups with a maximum of seven members. Each group presented their ideas for improvement on a hand written poster at the end of the session. Numerous ideas for improvement were raised in many different areas. One common recurring theme was the need for a longer term perspective in the planning at SNIC. However it is not so easy to rectify this as SNIC is dependent on decisions by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and these are made on relatively short term bases. 

The Director of SNIC, Jacko Koster, discusses collaboration between the SNIC centres.

During the meeting, which lasted from lunchtime on the 8th of December to lunchtime on the 9th, a number of projects and activities were presented by participants from the different SNIC centres and many issues were discussed in groups and documented for SNIC to follow up on. 

As usual, Såstaholm provided a charming environment with a relaxed atmosphere and a traditional Swedish Christmas dinner (with some not so traditional elements too), which was excellent. During the evening, a number of people were spotted relaxing in the bar and at the disco dressed in costumes from the time when Såstaholm was a retirement home for Swedish actors and actresses.