A Guided Tour of our Cloud Computing Course

Last week I had the pleasure of teaching Learning Tree’s course 1200: “Cloud Computing Technologies a Comprehensive Hands-On Introduction”. The course was presented in our beautiful Alexandria Education Center. The people there do a wonderful job of catering to the attendees and the breakfasts and snacks are tasty and nutritious!

The class was attended by a nice mix of people from various organizations and with a variety of backgrounds. It seems that cloud computing is intriguing to everyone from developers to IT professionals to managers. It is very interesting to get viewpoints from all these perspectives. I think the nice thing about the way our course is structured is that it does offer something for everyone.

The course flow is as follows:

Figure 1 Course 1200 Road Map

We start on the business side.  In the first chapter we define cloud computing. This is an interesting exercise because, even in August 2010, there are still many differing opinions on what is and what is not cloud! Next we consider the benefits of cloud computing. From here we dive into the technical details of the various cloud service models.

As the name implies our treatment of this topic is very hands-on. We do write code (gasp!) particularly when we cover PaaS. I was impressed to see the non-programmers getting involved with these exercises. I think that it is important to understand the basics from that perspective whether you will actually write the code yourself or not. We covered WSDL and Web Services as they relate to cloud computing. We used the Eclipse and Visual Studio development environments to create and deploy simple apps to Google AppEngine and Microsoft Azure.

Note that the technical treatment goes from the highest level of abstraction (SaaS) to the lowest (IaaS). I believe this gives the attendees a good overview of a wide spectrum of cloud technologies. When we return to the business side we ask people to consider the pros and cons of the various cloud offerings and types for their particular organizations.

It seemed to me that the attendees were most interested in IaaS, both public and private. I understand their reasons. I believe that a public cloud IaaS offers the least risk and lowest barrier to entry for anyone considering a cloud pilot project.

Thanks to all who attended last week’s event (you know who you are!)

For those of you who have not yet attended, please consider coming to our introductory course in cloud computing.

Our current schedule through December is:

Aug 25-27 New York enroll
Sep 8-10 Rockville, MD enroll
Oct 6-8 Philadelphia enroll
Oct 13-15 Los Angeles enroll
Nov 3-5 Reston, VA enroll
Nov 17-19 Dallas enroll
Nov 24-26 Ottawa enroll
Dec 1-3 New York enroll
Dec 8-10 Toronto enroll
Dec 8-10 Alexandria, VA enroll

Don’t forget you can always attend remotely (highlighted events) using the Learning Tree AnyWare system.

Hope to see y’all soon!

Kevin

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