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Firms Provide Freebies for Big Data Students

That pesky Big Data skills shortage apparently isn't going away soon, judging from a rash of new free training resources for students offered up by vendors. Just this week, new offerings were launched by MapR Technologies Inc., Databricks Inc. and Quoble Inc.

MapR yesterday announced a full online curriculum for its MapR Academy's on-demand training students, which can lead them to a developer certification for mastering Apache Spark, the hot, open source data processing adjunct to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem.

Along with a Spark Certification Study Guide, the curriculum consists of:

  • Apache Spark Essentials
  • Build and Monitor Apache Spark Applications
  • Create Data Pipelines using Apache Spark.

Note that while the curriculum is free, the MapR Certified Spark Developer (MCSD) exam costs $100, having just been reduced from $250.

"This industry credential validates a developer's technical knowledge, skills and abilities to use Spark in an enterprise environment to process large datasets," MapR said. "Specifically, the MCSD-certified developer can use Spark to load and inspect data, build Spark applications, work with Pair RDD and Dataframes, monitor Spark application performance, and do advanced programming using MLLib."

The company said more than 50,000 developers have availed themselves of its on-demand training.

While it was seeking to add to that total, MapR also announced the release of the Spark 1.6 Developer Preview, to help developers test new features of the technology on its Converged Data Platform.

Databricks also announced a new beta offering yesterday -- a free Community Edition of its cloud-based Spark platform -- and added some free training to boot.

"Databricks Community Edition comes with a rich portfolio of Spark training resources, including the award-winning Massive Open Online Course, "Introduction to Big Data with Apache Spark," which has enrolled over 76,000 participants to date," the company said. "Databricks will continue to develop Spark tutorials and training materials that will be directly accessible as part of Community Edition over time."

Interested developers are invited to join the waiting list for the beta Community Edition.

Meanwhile, over at Quoble, the Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) company today announced it was donating access to its Qubole Data Service (QDS) cloud platform to select universities for Big Data research, "giving students and professors easy access to the latest, most powerful data analytics technologies on the most widely used public clouds: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure."

Qubole is soliciting participation from 10 accredited U.S. universities or university classes, which, if accepted into the program, will receive a one-year license, depending upon eligibility. "Qualified universities will also receive complementary training courses and architectural assistance to get started with Qubole," the company said.

"The Qubole Data Service is a fully managed Big Data offering that leverages the latest open source technologies, such as Apache Hadoop, Hive, Presto and Spark, to provide the only comprehensive 'everything as a service' data analytics platform," the company said. "With Qubole, data science students can focus on analysis, while ensuring the most efficient use of resources."

It's no coincidence that the common theme in these announcements is Apache Spark, described as the most popular Big Data open source project. All of these free offerings were announced during the ongoing Spark Summit East conference in New York.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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