By Alexander Konovalov, SSI Fellow and Research Fellow, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Computational Algebra, University of St Andrews
I have found the course very useful for me, since I am involved in the Recomputation.org project and we are recipients of the Microsoft Azure for Research award. It gave me further insights into MS Azure, which will allow me to contribute to the project and communicate with other team members more efficiently. In particular, I now understood the architecture of the service that we would like to provide.
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The course took two days and consisted of lectures and practical sessions. Each participant received a USB stick with course materials and a 6-month pass to use MS Azure (up to 4 CPUs) which is an excellent supplement of the course. I intend my pass to set up a Jenkins slave to test our software on some Linux distributions not available in our group. This will also give me an opportunity to experiment with autoscaling the service when the demand is higher (i.e. when Jenkins starts the tests and would like more executors). Another usage scenario that was directly relevant to my work is parallel computing. Therefore, I've found the course very beneficial.
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