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So, what do you do for a living? Let's spread the word.

Jobs come and go, and I’ve had several in HPC. But my enthusiasm for the profession remains.

One thing I’ve noticed that we (as a community) are not very good at is telling people what we do for a living in a way that doesn’t cause them to run away screaming or ask if we can help with their mail merge in WordPerfect (seriously, and sadly, that last one happens to me routinely). In fact, I even wrote about this for HPCwire once.

I’d like to use insideHPC to help change that. A very basic thing that I think might be helpful is a stock presentation, maybe 10-15 slides, that answers the questions “What is HPC, and why do you care?”

The “you” in this sense is up for debate, but I think it would be most useful to target a person who is inquisitive (and so mildly motivated to learn the answer) and knows what a computer is, but is otherwise non-technical. For example, a 9th grader, my mom, your wife, or the new employees in publishing who are forced to spend 5 minutes in your center as part of orientation.

My plan has been to put a draft together and get your feedback and edits. That’s still my plan, but I’m procrastinating. So, let me ask you for help. Do you have part of this presentation already: a few really great examples, or some good introductory slides? If so, please send them to me. Between my Mac and my PC I can probably read anything you throw at me, from Keynote to LaTeX and, yes, even PowerPoint.

I’ll start by putting everything together, add some of my own perspective, and get it back out to you all for comment through the site. Once we’re happy with it, I’ll make it available in native form so you can give it as is, or just use it as a starting point for your own presentation. Then, if you modify it to create a version for a specific audience and want to share it back with the community, I’ll host it at the site. Everyone wins.

Here’s hoping you can help move me off the dime.

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