July 28, 2023 - by CSCS

Could you shortly introduce yourself? 

My name is Siro Bettini. I study computer science in Trevano at SAMT, and currently I’m doing an internship at CSCS in the Security and Network group.

What fascinates you about the world of supercomputing? 

For me, the most fascinating thing about supercomputers is the computing power — they can complete a lot of operations in an extremely short amount of time. And then, with the data obtained, they can make almost perfect simulations of reality.

How did you first hear about CSCS? 

The first time I heard about CSCS was three years ago when I started studying computer science. My professor then told me about CSCS, and then in the second year of school we came to CSCS to see how the centre is built and how it works.

Why did you want to intern at CSCS? 

At the end of my third year at SAMT, we must do an internship either in Ticino or abroad, and I decided to stay in Ticino. Our professors gave us a list of different places we can intern depending on faculty endorsement, and they decided to assign me to CSCS. For me, this was perfect, because compared to other companies, CSCS was the best opportunity for working in a big company. Plus, here at CSCS, there are some things that are not too easy to see otherwise, like supercomputers, and I can practice more of the things that I’ve learned about networking. So all in all, it was a great chance.

What projects have you worked on so far during your internship at CSCS? 

In the first month, I have worked on different things, like fixing broken scripts; fixing broken applications; testing features to find a method to improve already-working applications; and installing new servers. 

How would you describe a regular day as an intern at CSCS? 

My working day at CSCS usually starts at 8 a.m. when I arrive. First, I go to the second floor to fill my water bottle and greet my colleagues. Then I check my email and see if I received new assignment to do. Sometimes I have few things to do, because my colleagues are in a meeting or they are busy. So the day can become a little slow, but I almost always have some tasks to do after all, so it becomes nice, because I can learn and do many things. And then finally, my day usually finishes around 5 p.m.

What will you take home from this experience? 

This is my first long working experience, so I am obviously learning many things about work. The first is how to work in a big company like CSCS, where I see every day others demonstrating the methods to do the tasks, and I take advice from my colleagues. I also noticed the difference between the six hours of school and the eight hours of work each day — I have more liberty because I don’t have to listen to a professor all the time, but I have to stay more focused on the tasks to do. And for me, it is also important to learn to stay focused, because I struggle to pay attention sometimes. And in the practice work, I have realized that I prefer programming applications over managing network and security, but nonetheless, having the possibility to do it is good, because I can improve my skill in the computer science field that maybe I would have ignored if I had not done this internship. And last but not least, the experience of having worked in a respected company like CSCS is an important subject in the computer science world, both in Ticino and around the world.