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Prepare for the New Year: Where to Find Free Big Data Training

December 12, 2017

Big data is rapidly changing the way business approaches with data mining, and it’s driving more demand for free big data training. Big data is not a simple, one-time skillset that can be acquired and applied. Big data requires new ways of thinking about data, databases, analytics, data storage, data processing, and enterprise infrastructure. It also requires a new way of thinking about business challenges in the marketplace and how to solve them. To stay current on the latest in big data theory and best practices, it’s always a good idea to talk to the experts, and there are plenty of free big training programs to help keep you up to date.

For example, Apache Hadoop YARN (Yet Another Resource Negotiator) was released last year as part of Hadoop 2 and is now being applied as a large-scale distributed operating system for big data applications. YARN decouples MapReduce resource management and scheduling from the data processing component, which means Hadoop now can support more applications. The advent of new technologies and techniques such as YARN makes even free big data training important in order to stay abreast of emerging technologies.

Some say that “free is worth what you pay for it,” but depending on your level of understanding and areas of interest, there are a number of free big data training initiatives that are worth considering, both from independent sources and from big data vendors. Investing a little time and energy in the latest big data techniques is what keeps you ahead of your competition.

Here are just a few of the free big data training resources currently available:

  • Big Data University – Perhaps the best known resource for free big data training is Big Data University. This is an open educational forum that offers (mostly) free courses taught by experienced professionals and educators on various aspects of big data. The education programs encompass multiple topics, and you can sign up for different study tracks such as Big Data Concepts, Hadoop, Real-time Analytics, Data Analytics, Relational Databases, and more. The online courses are offered at various lengths (typically two hours and up) and certification is often available upon completion.
     
  • Cloud U – Rackspace is sponsoring a free online course for big data professionals called Big Data MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) designed for students, professionals, and IT managers seeking a high-level understanding of big data. The online instruction program is designed as a three-week, self-taught course followed by an exam for a CloudU Big Data MOOC certification.
     
  • Cloudera – Cloudera offers a variety of paid certification courses for developers, data scientists, and administrators, but they also offer free big data training in Web Intelligence and Big Data. This is an introductory online course over nine weeks, with a three- to four-hour commitment per week, and covers using “web-scale” techniques to handle parallel computing and distributed files systems. The course covers search, indexing, and memory; database evolution; programming in Map-Reduce; data classification and clustering; forecasting; and more. This is a self-study course with instructional videos and quizzes to test understanding.
     
  • Hortonworks – Short videos are available from Hortonworks on YouTube providing brief tutorials on various aspects of big data. Hortonworks develops, distributes, and supports its own Apache Hadoop big data developer architecture, the Hortonworks Data Platform, so naturally its instructional videos are specific to its technology. However, Hortonworks does bill itself as offering a “100% open source Apache Hadoop data platform” so the knowledge in the videos should be transferable.
     
  • Udemy – Although they also offer a series of paid programs, Udemy offers a course entitled “Big Data and Hadoop Essentials” for free.  The course is offered as a primer in big data, outlining big data issues, the history of Hadoop, a discussion of data science versus data engineering, and practical information about Hadoop vendors and implementations.  Udemy’s other big data courses are available at prices ranging from $20 to $200.

These are just some of the free big data training programs available online. Of course, most vendors have their own training and certification programs in big data programming, design, administration, and related topics. Ask what kind of training your favorite vendors offer.

What do you see as your biggest big data training need in the coming year?