Get started with Google BigQuery: Your first lab is on us

You want to get the most out of your data. But when you hear words like “public datasets”, “training data models”, and “correlation percentage”, your eyes glaze over. So how do you start taking advantage of Google Cloud’s data tools?

Here are some easy ways to get started.

  1. Watch and learn. Join Priyanka and Heather to learn how to get meaningful insights with Google BigQuery (4:39).

  2. Then, get hands-on practice with a hands-on lab for yourself. Just click the link below the YouTube video and follow instructions. Did you get your free Qwiklabs credits, to take your first BigQuery lab on us? Just be sure to click before April 2. And if you want to double-check your work, go back to the video and follow along with the demo, starting at 3:45.

  3. Ready for a little more of a challenge? Try the Weather Data and BigQuery lab, and practice correlating diverse data sets. And today only, this lab is featured for #1creditwednesday, which means this lab is available for 1 credit (normally priced at 5 credits).

In this lab, you will take a look at analyzing public data with BigQuery – starting with weather data from NOAA and citizen complaints data from New York City. 

Using public datasets, you will find what types of municipal complaints are correlated with weather. For example, you will find (not surprisingly) that complaints about residential furnaces are most common when it is cold outside:

Weather Data in BigQuery

What types of big data do you think you might correlate?

  • Weather and traffic volume on your retail website

  • Daily temperature in your town and foot traffic on your business’s street

  • NCAA winning percentages and uniform colors (there’s a lab for that!)

You can find the Weather Data and BigQuery lab here. Special today, the lab is available for 1 credit only (usually priced at 5 credits), so now’s the perfect time to check it out. Click the green button to start the lab. You’ll see a lower price than the screenshot below, today only.

Start the lab

See how the left panel changes? Those are your credentials to log into the Google console. Use these credentials (not your personal credentials) so Qwiklabs covers the cost of all your lab activities.

Sign into the Google Cloud Console

Next, you’ll need to accept the terms of service for the student account. Don’t worry about account recovery or emails – you won’t ever need to use this account again.

Agreements

Then you’re off on your lab! Follow the lab manual and at the end of the lab, you will have correlated two massive public datasets using BigQuery. What will you correlate next? We’d love to hear how you applied what you learned in the lab to your real-world data questions, let us know @Qwiklabs!

Bracketology: There’s a lab for that

What a weekend! How is your bracket looking? Bracketology is a science, and there’s an easy way for you to get ahead. Learn how to use BigQuery to analyze NCAA data going back as far as the 1984-85 season with the newest lab in the catalog, Exploring NCAA Data with BigQuery. Pick up a new skill between now and Thursday!

You might have heard about Google’s partnership with the NCAA — and just last month, we launched the Google Cloud and NCAA® Machine Learning Competition on Kaggle and opened it to data analysts of all skill levels.

As part of our relationship with the NCAA, we’ve made this dataset publicly available to explore, and this new lab helps you dig into its massive datasets. Learn to write queries to analyze missed shots versus rebounds and the highest scoring teams. When your bracket gets busted, use BigQuery to identify which teams play the closest games, so you can pick the most exciting games to watch! And maybe do a little digging to figure out whose jerseys are blue….

Fun Queries to run on public datasets

Click here to check out the new lab.

Don’t forget the nachos…

Fasten your armor, a new Quest is here

A new Quest from Qwiklabs, just released: Scaling Your Infrastructure. This Quest is not for the faint of heart. Dig deep into gnarly scenarios that exercise your ability to work with advanced scenarios like building dedicated gaming servers and setting up a Microsoft Active Directory environment. 

This is the first of several Solutions Quests. These advanced Quests, developed by Google experts, are meant to push your skills to the next level and enable you to face challenging real-world projects. Complete this Quest and proudly display your badge, a Google Cloud credential that demonstrates your ability to dig deep into the cloud for advanced solutions.

Ready to earn your next Qwiklabs badge? Click here to accept your challenge!

Here’s some of what you’ll do in this Quest:

Building High Availability and High Bandwidth NAT Gateways: Learn to set up multiple NAT gateways with Equal Cost Multi-Path (ECMP) routing and autohealing enabled for a resilient and high-bandwidth deployment.

Autoscaling an Instance Group with Stackdriver Custom Metrics: Deploy an autoscaling Compute Engine instance group that is automatically scaled using a custom Stackdriver metric. This lab is a 2-for-1, it counts for this and for the Stackdriver Quest!

Customizing Stackdriver Logs for Kubernetes Engine with Fluentd: Another 2-for-1 with the Stackdriver Quest, this lab, gets you hands-on experience with custom Stackdriver logging using Fluentd for a Google Kubernetes Engine cluster.

Setting up Jenkins on Kubernetes Engine: Set up Jenkins on Google Kubernetes Engine to help orchestrate your software delivery pipeline.

Continuous Delivery Pipelines with Spinnaker and Kubernetes Engine: Create a Kubernetes Engine cluster, deploy an application, and use Spinnaker to continuously deploy the application when changes are made.

Does this sound like a challenge you want to accept? Enroll now.

Not quite ready to tackle this one, but want to prepare yourself so you can try it soon? I suggest checking out the Kubernetes in the Google Cloud Quest to get familiar with some of the tools you’ll use for this Solutions Quest.

Seeking Cloud training? Start here.

Suddenly it’s February 2018 – how is your resume looking these days? Learning something new like cloud computing can be intimidating. Especially when you’re learning vital career skills that can impact your future. 

That’s why we released 2 brand new Quests, designed to get you up and running in the cloud. That’s 18 new labs, the perfect way to introduce yourself to the cloud. At the end of each lab in these Quests, you have gained a basic understanding of the tool being introduced and how to use it.

Here are the new Quests:

  • Baseline: Infrastructure Quest: In these ten short hands-on labs, you will get your first-touch experiences with the Google Cloud services. Get training on basic infrastructure building blocks that make up core components of any production cloud environment. Labs like Kubernetes Engine: Qwikstart are meant to give you a “baseline” understanding of what each set of tools can do for you. Perfect if you’re just getting started with Google Cloud, or with the cloud in general! Enroll now.

  • Baseline: Data, ML & AI Quest: Another “baseline”, you will get your first-touch experiences with a subset of the Google Cloud services that provide tools for working with big (and small!) data and machine learning / artificial intelligence services in Google Cloud, like Dataproc and Bigtable. For some labs (including these two!), you can choose to use either the console or command line – your choice, and either option fulfills the Quest’s requirement. Enroll now.

Big reveal: Your new learning dashboard

Been to Qwiklabs.com lately? Next time you log in, you’ll notice a few changes to the “My Learning” page. Here’s what you’ll see:

  1. Quests in-progress: Front and center, you’ll see your ongoing Quests. It’s quick and easy to pick up where you left off!
  2. Your 10 most recent completed Quests. Got more than 10 badges? There’s a link to view “more”. You may also see classes here, if you have taken any with us.
  3. Your 10 most recent labs, again with a link to view “more”.
  4. Want to share your badges on your resume or on your social profiles? The link to your Qwiklabs badges is still on the “My Learning” page. You can control whether or not your profile is published.

Qwiklabs My Learning

… That’s it! Log in now and let us know what you think.

GCP Challenge: Accepted

Your company has decided to deploy a new website as part of a product launch. The new site is ready to go, but unfortunately the person who built the site left before they deployed it. No one else knows how to deploy the site, and the launch date is approaching fast. What now?

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps this is similar to a situation you have encountered on the job. Day to day life can be challenging and unexpected. How can you prepare yourself to meet these challenges? Would you be able to save the day and deploy the new website in time for the product launch?

See for yourself! Introducing a new concept for hands-on labs, The Challenge Lab. In this lab, you are presented with this scenario, and a GCP environment. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to fix the hypothetical scenario. This lab is totally different from other labs you may have taken. You are not given steps to follow. Instead, you must solve the scenario as best you can. Real-time scoring tells you whether or not you have successfully completed the challenge.

Google Cloud Training: Challenge lab

Ready to save the day and ensure the new website is ready on launch day? Click here to start your challenge.

If you get stuck or if you want more, here are some resources you might find helpful:

– Using Firewall Rules

– Adding and Removing Network Tags

 – Getting the perfect VM configuration (if you’re interested in cryptocurrency, check this one out!)

What do you think of this lab? Want to see more labs like this, to challenge your abilities? Let us know @Qwiklabs and stay tuned for more challenges!

Google Cloud training in your own words

How do you learn best? Lectures, videos, hands-on experience, maybe all of the above? 

Today, we’re asking a different question. Do you prefer to learn in English? Español? 日本語? Qwiklabs can meet you where you are with hands-on training in your own words. Lab manuals are now available in multiple languages, including Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, and more.

To see which languages are available, click the globe icon by the lab title. You will see all the languages available for that lab.

Qwiklabs google cloud training language options

You can set your preferred language in your Qwiklabs profile. You will see lab manuals in your preferred language by default, if it is available.

Click here to open your profile settings.

Qwiklabs profile info

You will notice that only some labs are available in multiple languages, and in some cases you may not see the language you’re looking for. Adding new languages and translating more labs is an ongoing project, so you can expect to see more over the coming weeks and months.

Don’t see the language you’re looking for? Let us know at Support@Qwiklabs.com!

Machine Learning APIs: This is the Quest you’ve been looking for

There’s lots of buzz about Machine Learning and what it can do: on land, at sea, in hospitals, on the chessboard, even extraterrestrial applications. How can you take advantage of ML for your project, here on planet earth? To get the most out of Google Cloud, you want to know how to use ML tools. Not just a high-level understanding of what ML is (though that’s helpful too) – you want to know how ML can help you meet your goals.

And there’s a lab for that! The new 7-lab Machine Learning APIs Quest walks you through use cases and scenarios with Google ML tools. Use these labs to help you understand what ML can do for you. Then, try using ML for your own projects.

Here are some of the labs in the new Quest:

  • Cloud ML Engine: Qwik start – Train a TensorFlow model to predict income category of a person using the United States Census Income Dataset, both locally and on Cloud ML Engine. To build your model, you’ll use TensorFlow’s prebuilt DNNCombinedLinearClassifier Estimator (this model is sometimes called ‘Wide & Deep’).

  • AI Chatbot: OK Google! I want to change my password – Build an application to submit tickets with a network and 3 subnetworks that you will use throughout the lab.

Life of a conversation: Google Machine Learning lab

  • Awwvision: Cloud Vision API from a Kubernetes Cluster – With a 4+ star rating already, the Awwvision lab uses Kubernetes and Cloud Vision API to demonstrate how to use the Vision API to classify Reddit’s /r/aww subreddit images and display the labelled results in a web app. 

Hundreds of companies are hiring Machine Learning engineering roles. Set yourself apart with a Google Cloud ML credential. Complete the Quest and add the Machine Learning APIs badge to your online profiles and your resume, to show your experience with in-demand ML skills.

Machine Learning APIs Qwiklabs quest badge

Travel Tuesday Deal: Take a trip to your Minecraft World

What if you could:

  • Host your world with world-class infrastructure…

  • For up to 50 players comfortably…

  • And accessible anywhere worldwide…

For about the cost of one takeout pizza a month?

With Google Cloud, you can do exactly that. And today we’re helping you make your “trip” to your own private world as budget-friendly as possible. This week only, the lab Setting up a Minecraft server on Google Compute Engine is available for 1 credit (normally priced at 5 credits).  

Yesterday’s Cyber Monday deal helped you save money by taking labs instead of shopping. (It’s still going on by the way, 1 credit per lab in the GCP Essentials Quest!)

Here’s what you’ll do in the lab (and what you’ll do when you set up your Minecraft server on Google Cloud):

1. Create a Google Compute Engine virtual machine instance

You will walk through the steps of creating a VM with Google Compute Engine (GCE). When you set up the VM, you will attach a high performance 50 GB persistent solid-state drive (SSD) to your instance. With the addition of this persistent SSD, your instance will satisfy the system requirements for a dedicated Minecraft server and support up to 50 players comfortably.

2. Install and configure the Minecraft server

Once you set up the infrastructure in Google Cloud, it’s time to get Minecraft up and running! The Minecraft server runs on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), so it requires the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to run. Because the server doesn’t need a graphical user interface, this lab uses the headless version of the JRE. This approach reduces the JRE’s resource usage on the machine, helping ensure that the Minecraft server has plenty of room to expand its own resource usage if needed. When you set up your own personal Minecraft server, this will save you resources (and cost!).

3. Set up automatic backups of your Minecraft world data

It’s a good idea to back up your data on a regular basis, whether you’re writing a term paper or creating Minecraft worlds. The final section of the lab demonstrates how to set up regular backups of your world data using Google Cloud Storage. You will learn to write a script to create regular backups, and how to manage your backups with efficiency.

Take it for a test drive with the lab, then use what you learned to set up your own Minecraft server. And don’t forget, take advantage of Cyber Monday and Travel Tuesday prices, now through the end of the week!

Start here. And don’t forget your high performance 50 GB persistent SSD!

This blog post is not approved by or associated with Mojang or Minecraft. This lab is not approved by or associated with Mojang or Minecraft. 

Cyber Monday: The only deal you need

Cyber Monday: the annual struggle when you try not to buy something you don’t need. This year, it gets a little easier. Instead of online shopping, direct your browser to Qwiklabs.com and take labs!

All 7 labs in the GCP Essentials Quest are available now for 1 credit each, for a limited time. Usually this quest costs $23 US. This week, it’s only $7 – and you get hands-on experience and training in the Google Cloud. Your learning experience will not break, run out of batteries, or go out of style. But hurry, prices go back to normal next week.

Google Cloud online training

Prepare yourself for Cyber Monday with these 4 money saving strategies.

Money saving strategy #1: Be selective with your 70% discounts

Why click that 70% link in your inbox? Instead, get 70% off the GCP Essentials Quest and add a Google cloud badge to your resume. Education is an excellent investment in your future and your career. The skills you learn can help you ace your next project or make your next career move. Will those fancy new wireless headphones get you a promotion?

Money saving strategy #2: Find your safe space

Feeling the urge to cruise a retail websites? Instead, type Q-W-I-K-L-A-B-S-.-C-O-M into your browser. Instead of “add to cart”, each lab brings you closer to adding a Google cloud credential to your resume. Click here to get started.

Google Cloud training badges

Money saving strategy #3: Ask for help if you need it

Forgot your password? No worries. Recover it here. Are you stuck on something? Let us know, we are here to help you get the most out of your Qwiklabs experience. Email us anytime at Support@Qwiklabs.com. Or, you can send us a note directly from your lab, here:

Qwiklabs support button

Money saving strategy #4: Update your resume

You never know when you will need it. An up-to-date resume means that you are cool and calm when it comes to talking about your career. You are not running around at the last minute trying to remember the start date of a role you had in 2011. When you list your credentials, be sure to add any Qwiklabs badges you may have earned to prove your “flight time” in the cloud.

While this may not exactly save you money, it’s a good way to increase your own appeal on the job market.

Ready to take advantage of the only Cyber Monday deal you need? Log in now

Oh, and one more thing. 

The newly released Minecraft lab is also available for 1 credit. Another limited time opportunity, so try it out now