August 18, 2022
Siqi Deng has had an unconventional career path. Raised in southern China, he earned a bachelor’s degree in international politics at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, then went into the news business for about seven years. In 2015, he relocated to the United States and studied Linux operating systems at City College of San Francisco. An internship brought him to Berkeley Lab as a contractor in 2018 and as an employee in 2019. Today, he works as a site reliability engineer in the NERSC Operations Technology Group.
Why did you decide to move to the United States?
Working in China at a foreign news agency (Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun) – is difficult. China and Japan have a history since WWII. Arranging interviews with Chinese government officials and ordinary Chinese people is difficult. After a few years, I felt my job was getting much more difficult. Meanwhile, my parents moved to the United States, and they obtained a green card for me. I decided to move to the United States and get a new start on everything.
Why did you decide to attend City College of San Francisco?
At first, I tried looking for openings in the Chinese media. I had a few interviews but wasn’t satisfied with the offers. So, I decided to attend City College and improve my English first. I found they have a pretty good Linux program and an internship.
At the Lab, you work with the new Perlmutter supercomputer. Could you describe what you do and its challenges?
I do two things. I sit in a control room to monitor the system. We need to contact engineers to deal with the issue if we see an alert. I also design software for our new monitoring system. The open-source software community is pretty active. To keep up, I must keep learning new stuff and figuring out what fits. I feel I need to spend more time and effort learning the skills compared to my colleagues who might have spent time in college learning basic computer science knowledge.