Offlate, you might have observed about intense marketing campaigns about Big Data training. As a user to the training product you need to be diligent enough before investing your valuable resources for the training.
As part of this blog post, I will try to cover how you can decide whether the training is good or not.
My name is Durga Viswanatha Raju, Gadiraju. Technology Evangelist and Consultant with expertise in vast array of technologies. I provide training in many areas such as
- Big Data
- and more
However, I will not be able to provide training as per the market needs. As part of this post, I try to provide inputs related to choosing better trainer or institute for your needs. You can evaluate me as well using the same criteria before taking decision to take your career to next level in IT.
What is Big Data meant for you?
Big Data is not technology. It is more of a concept to represent large volumes of different formats of data which can be processed in stipulated time for the insights. Concepts are broadly categorized into
Big Data eco system is nothing tools and technologies which implement these 3 concepts. There are bunch of technologies
- HDFS and Map Reduce
- so on and so forth
Wait a second, do the list sound overwhelming? You do not need to learn each and every part of this to build your career in Big Data. You need to categorize and identify what these mean to you based up on your past experience and future aspirations. To get more insights, you can look at this video which will cover introduction of Big Data eco system.
There are bunch of online institutes who are vigorously campaigning about the courses to attract the professionals who want to get on to the Big Data band wagon.
They try to attract IT professionals at all levels by running organized marketing campaigns.
Typical Marketing Strategy
Let us see the typical marketing strategy. One of the top marketing campaign highlight all these things under so called masters program.
See the list of topics, they are trying to cover.
- AI & Deep Learning with TensorFlow – I am sure it is just added since Google CEO mentioned AI First in his key note speech and spoken about TensorFlow.
- Apache Spark Certification Training – Not sure what certification training they are going to provide
- Fundamentals of Statistics – Up to what level?
- Java or Python essentials – again up to what level?
They do market research based on key words and add them to their marketing strategy with out getting into too many details about curriculum, instructor etc.
Understanding company’s profile
Before even getting into details about training, you should speak to people in your network about the institute.
- Do not fall prey based on the ratings of the institute online.
- They can cook up the data very easily
- Check whether certification provided by organization have any value
- Check whether they are publishing instructor’s names and profiles. Just discard the institutes which does not publish instructor’s names.
- Understand the list of trainers for the training along with the profiles
- Check for the back up plan and refund policy. In case if the trainer drop in the middle you should claim the refund.
- Do they have lab? Many of them provide virtual machine images and it is not good when we are talking about big data training.
Understanding instructor’s profile
- Make sure you get the demo from the instructor on the topic he is going to teach
- Check whether trainer is full time or part time for the institute
- If he claim to be full time for a company ask him to send email from his official email id
- Quite often the instructor’s names and profiles will be forged as they are not supposed to take these trainings due to restrictions of their employers
- Even LinkedIn profiles are not reliable. Be careful. Go to the recommendations and endorsements and see if they make sense to you. Quite often, there will be endorsements and recommendations from fake accounts.
Asking right questions
Here are the list of important questions you should ask the company or instructor.
- What is the duration of the course?
- What are the back up plans, if the instructor drop in the middle of the course?
- How can I believe that instructor is experienced enough in the areas he is teaching?
- Can the instructor show the demo of the projects which he have worked on earlier?
- How can I get the feel of the Big Data by using virtual machine?
- Do you have the labs other than the virtual machine images?
- How my questions will be clarified?
- What is the value your certification have in the companies?
- Can you provide the list of companies who value certification provided by your institute?
Making final decision
You should make the final decision after due diligence and answers for these.
- Is Big Data for you?
- Is the amount and time which I am going to spend worth?
- Is the company, instructor as well as the content of the course worth enough to pursue?
- Do the certifications have any value at all?
- What is the credibility of the instructor?
- How come they are teaching latest and greatest technologies at such a low cost?
- Does the instructor really have experience in those areas?
Once the above questions are answered, make sure to do research on dice.com or monster.com and see the job trends by going to job descriptions. As per my analysis this is what one need to focus for successful Big Data career
- Programming language such as Java, Scala or Python
- Distributed file systems such as HDFS, AWS s3, Azure Blob etc
- Solid SQL skills along with good knowledge of ETL
- Applying ETL using Spark
- Migrating large data in batches or real time – Sqoop, Flume, Kafka etc
- Knowledge about NoSQL – such as Mongodb, HBase, Cassandra (one of them is enough)
- Ability to learn new technology
- Effective communication and problem solving skills
Do not let your need is exploited by these institutes
You are not only investing money but also time. You are supposed to get best out of it.