I was doing a little research on Cloud Computing education and I happened upon a fantastic resource called Cloud Computing University which is powered by Rackspace (a killer cloud hosting infrastructure company.) Don’t be alarmed by the fact that a cloud provider created the educational program. It’s not in anyway titled or skewed to fool you into using their services, etc. In fact Rackspace, along with it’s consulting partner on the project, goes a long way to point out “when you should NOT use the cloud in your world.” Since I’ve been around this world for quite some time in a non-technical but industry educated way, this entire series took me under 2 hours to complete. I’d guess that a novice might spend about 1 hour per course or 10 hours completing the material.
Who is Cloud University for?
Cloud University’s approach is definitely for business owners, managers, and frankly anyone who needs to get an excellent background in the terminology, benefits, dangers, and key “need to knows” about the cloud. As previously mentioned, if you’re a technophobe – this may be a very big undertaking. I get that. If you’re a digital native who uses the cloud daily…but doesn’t really know what’s behind the curtain, this may be just as challenging for you. Technical staff may scoff at Cloud U’s proletarian approach and 101 level content, but let them eat cake.
What is the Structure of Cloud University
- Cloud U consists of 10 courses. Each has a well written 15-20 page PDF. The text breaks down the cloud into very digestible subtopics.
- There’s also a 60 minute webinar with each course. I skimmed the first one but after that did not listen to them. If you need that level of background, tack on an additional 10 hours of time investment to the course. The PDF’s seemed like plenty for a busy leader but again, you may want the additional color added by a team of experts going through the material in depth.
- Then there’s a quiz for each course. There’s no time limit and of course you can use the materials to assist you. I found that an occasional PDF search was the extent of the help I needed on a couple items. You won’t need to ask the google bot any questions on this as all of the quiz questions are based directly on the text presented in the PDFs.
- Finally there’s a 50 question final exam which really amounts to questions taken from all the other courses as review.
- You need to achieve 80% correct to pass and you’re allowed to retake the tests as many times as you need to achieve that goal. This is self-directed learning for big people here so relax.
This proved to be an excellent investment of my time. It clarified a couple of terms I’d heard of but never fully understood and I’m going to use this as a baseline point of entry with any new employee.
Cloud Education and Certification is a very new and misunderstood animal. So I suggest you find your own sources of education and just keep building to round out your skills. Leaders need to to know enough to set expectations and get clear on outcomes. This course goes a long way to helping that cause.