After finally finishing the CloudU curriculum it’s easy to see why the certification is free.While I did learn a fair amount of new information about Cloud Computing, much of the curriculum is recycled throughout the ten lessons.
Ben Kepes does a wonderful job of explaining the differences between the three layers of the cloud computing stack. Initially I wasn’t sure how to differentiate between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). While the line between the two is indeed blurring, Kepes’ lesson plan gave me further insight into the differences between them.
Kepes also does a good job explaining various ways to move your business to the Cloud. Whether your operation is large or small there is some great advice to either going all in with your move or proceeding with a slow migration.
Where the curriculum falls apart is in its length. The lessons typically focus on two aspects of Cloud Computing: what makes up the Cloud and how to plan a move to the Cloud. You could easily condense the ten lessons to five. This would not only make it more accessible to people, it would also get rid of all the repeating that takes place throughout the lessons.
Speaking of accessibility, Rackspace should also invest in a proofreader. Throughout the entire curriculum you will find grammar errors, spelling mishaps and an overall lack of editing. As I mentioned before, this can make it hard to progress through the lessons, but it can also cause your judgment to be questioned if you recommend the certificate to a friend or coworker.
BOTTOM LINE: If you’re looking to learn a bit about what Cloud Computing is and how it works from a basic standpoint, this is not a bad program to consider. It is by no means a resume builder, and probably won’t get you a promotion, but it gives you something to consider if you’re planning a move to the Cloud. I would recommend this only for self interest, and not for job placement.
After three lessons of Rackspace’s CloudU Certification curriculum I have seen some good, some bad and some just plain ugly. Let me preface this post by saying one thing: I am not a grammar Nazi. You may even find mistakes in my punctuation and grammar on this blog. However, when you’re writing lesson plans for a certification, I would hope someone has proofread your material. It seems this is not the case for this certification. Ben Kepes has multiple errors in punctuation and grammar.
I can get past a few things, but missing words or just using the complete wrong words to explain how something technical works is just bad. Not only can it cause some serious confusion if you are not already familiar with how cloud technology works, but it also takes away some of the power your certification offers. If I were to tell my boss, a friend or someone I respected that I took this program and then they went through and saw these mistakes, they are going to question the validity of whatever else is being written around cloud computing and also question my judgment. This is not a question that should come up. I should be in awe of the raw power of the cloud, question why I haven’t integrated it into my environment and most of all want to keep going through with the curriculum.
All that being said, I am still obligated to go through with this program. While the writing is marginal at best, the format of the curriculum so far makes sense. It starts out slow, sure, but it should. Rackspace is trying to teach all sorts of folks. So far the only thing I have actually learned from the program is the difference between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), which is helpful when trying to understand the cloud stack. I’m hoping the pace will pick up in future lessons as I still look forward to learning more about cloud computing. Perhaps even the writing will improve.
Through my internet endeavors and professional duties I have come to the conclusion that vendor-neutral certifications provide a more well-rounded and honest analysis of certain technologies. With the 2010′s being labelled the “Cloud Decade” and my own interests in familiarizing myself with virtualization, I figure a certification can only be a good thing.
Due to this, I am presenting a series of articles based on my experiences and thoughts through Rackspace’s CloudU Certification program. In the next couple of weeks, I will analyze, complain, and laugh at my stupidity through the ten lessons the certification offers.
If the experience seems fruitful, I will take a vendor-specific approach. Either way, you get to experience me learning on the internet.