New hands-on training at Vertica Academy takes users deep into Vertica Essentials

Posted March 12, 2020 by Mike Perrow, Senior Product Marketing Writer/Editor

Focused young woman working at laptop in office

Since Vertica Academy was launched in September 2019, this versatile online training portal has acquired more than 1,500 registered users (as of beginning of March), and that number is growing daily. Users are finding answers to tough questions that arise as they explore the complex world of big data analytics. They’re finding self-paced courses, webinars and certifications, product documentation, quick start guides for integrations with the top tools in the data analytics industry, demos, user forums, and more. And they’re finding all this valuable material for free.

Vertica Academy users don’t need to spend a dime on a Vertica license to get up to speed on many aspects of the powerful database. They can apply their new knowledge and skills to the free Community Edition, if they choose to take Vertica for a spin. Or they can simply soak up the many principles and concepts that are defining big data practice today.

Now, there’s more on the horizon at Vertica Academy, and it’s coming to a browser near you.

Coming soon: Vertica Essentials – Hands-on training for rapid productivity

Phase 1 of Vertica Academy included thirteen short courses, the most popular of which – “Vertica Overview” – has seen more than 800 registrations. So far, approximately 3,000 certificates have been awarded to students.  The popularity of these resources confirmed the Vertica Academy team’s plan to create a set of interactive courses that would take users through the basics of using Vertica – from installation, to data ingest, to the core elements of machine learning.

The team, led by Sabrina Corazza, Drea Brandford, and Mark Whalley, has developed a deep understanding of the human factor in curriculum success. In terms of enterprise software training, they’re committed to a simple rule: Keep the individual modules to 15 minutes or less.

“Even when students are really focused and motivated to learn, they still need to take a break after that much time,” explains Brandford. “The human-computer interface community has more or less determined this.”

Plus, Vertica Academy courses are designed for people with busy schedules, who need to take one step at a time, and go at their own pace.

The upcoming series, “Vertica Essentials,” is Vertica Academy’s first certification that put users in a lab environment, hands-on at the keyboard, showing students step-by-step what it takes to be base-line proficient in the various practices for analyzing large data sets with a powerful analytics platform.

Each course sequence includes multiple break points for students to evaluate their skills retention, to check in on what they’ve learned over the last three or four sessions, rather than leaving the evaluation across multiple and varied topics to the end.

Course work designed for the extremely busy

Most of the material included in “Vertica Essentials” was originally designed for instructor-led training. Students would access a live instructor online, or work with an instructor in person, in a traditional classroom setting. But with long-form course work, students must dedicate multiple days, in many cases, to training. Which means putting their day jobs on hold. This obvious sacrifice inadvertently led to another problem: Course designers felt their classes needed to cover a broad range of material to make that student commitment worthwhile, though few individual students were interested in all of it.

The new approach not only offers self-paced and bite-size training material, but also a “sandbox” that allows students to test themselves in the actual Vertica environment when they arrive at that point in their learning.

“As students go through the Academy curriculum, they are not on their own,” explains Corazza. “They can leave feedback within the courses, and if they get stuck or need clarification on a topic, the Vertica Academy Team is always available to provide support and guidance.”

How to gain hands-on Vertica experience

The Vertica Academy team say it has received “very positive feedback” from customers and partners who appreciate self-paced approach to classes. Students avoid investing whole days or weeks at a time, and introductions to any topic can be completed in 15 minutes.

“By providing totally free and unrestricted access to the Vertica Academy modules, has enabled students to pick and choose just the modules they are interested in,” says Mark Whalley.  “This would not have been possible with traditional instructor lead training (ILT) courses.  This does not mean there is no need for ILT courses, but we’re providing students with greater flexibility.”

This is the first in a series of certifications that will be launched throughout 2020. The goal is to give students exposure to a broad range of Vertica capabilities, within a hands-on environment. That’s a demonstration of commitment, and for many budding big data engineers it should be a powerful first step towards mastery of a powerful big data platform.

If you haven’t explored the offerings at Vertica Academy, register today and find out if this dynamic, expanding resource can help with your team’s questions and skill sets. It’s free!

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Related Resource:
Vertica Academy
Full List of Vertica Training Options