High performance computing on many-core environments and low-level optimisations are very important concepts in large scientific projects nowadays. Stream HPC is one of the market’s more prominent clubs and is substantially expanding. As we often get asked how it is to work at the company, we’d like to give you a little peak into our kitchen.
Stream HPC’s DNA
To understand our DNA, you’d need to know how the company got started. In 2010 the company was born from the deep boredom that was born from within the corporate IT workspace. Stream’s founder Vincent Hindriksen had to maintain a piece of software that was often failing to process the daily reports. After documenting the internals and algorithms of the code by interviewing the key people and some reverse engineering, it was a lot easier to create effective solutions for the bugs within the software. After fixing a handful of bugs, there was simply a lot less to do except reading books and playing online games.
To avoid becoming a master in Sudoku, he spent the following three weeks in rewriting all the code, using the freshly produced documentation. 2.5 hours needed to process the data was reduced to 19 seconds – yes, the kick for performance optimisation was already there. For some reason it took well over 6 months to port the proof-of-concept, which was simply unbearable as somebody had to make sure the old code was maintained for 40 hours a week.
The reason to start the company was simple: to make intelligent use of time and provide software that is engineered for performance and maintainability. Lots of exciting projects for fantastic clients followed in the next 8 years that allowed us to broaden our expertise and build up confidence. GPUs were there at just the right time – without GPUs it would have probably been performance engineering on CPUs.