Get started with Google Cloud APIs

83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. How? API integration! Want to get started with cloud APIs? Qwiklabs can help. Take any of the labs below and you’ll get 10 Qwiklabs credits by November 21st (free of charge, no CC required).

  1. Introduce yourself to Google Cloud APIs and understand key principles of API communication, architecture and authentication.

For example, you’ll work with Cloud Storage API methods to inspect the Fitness API and monitor traffic levels, error rates and latencies in the Dashboard:

Then, you’ll work with authentication services with Google Cloud APIs. For example, to access user data, you’ll authenticate JSON/REST API by using OAuth 2.0 playground.

2. Got a picture of your pet? Analyze an image with the APIs Explorer: Qwik Start lab. You’ll create a Cloud Storage bucket, upload an image to the bucket. You can use an image of a good dog, Bailey (:

You’ll then call the Cloud Vision API to analyze the image. When you’re done, your request field will look similar to this:

Does it? Share your results @Qwiklabs.

3. How far have you memorized the value of pi? Put Google Cloud to the test. Create a cluster using Cloud Dataproc API and then run a Apache Spark job to calculate an approximate value of pi in that cluster.

Two workers aren’t enough for data intensive processes like these. Add 3 more workers to update the cluster with Dataproc API:

Have you verified the update? How many worker nodes do you see? Share your results @Qwiklabs.

Take the labs and don’t forget you’ll get 10 Qwiklabs credits (free of charge, no CC required).


Are you ready for an AI-first future?

Join Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene and other experts for a free online conference on the future of artificial intelligence. The conference rolls through time zones too, so no matter where you are in the world, there’s a session for you.

Prepare yourself for deep-dives by taking cloud training ahead of time. Each of the following quests guides you through using GCP tools to answer an AI business question or solve a technical challenge. Use what you learn to ask the best questions and have the most meaningful conversations with your conference moderators. Use these links for a 1-month pass to Qwiklabs (free of charge, no CC required). Offer ends November 13th. 

  1. Get your data insight-ready:

Enroll in the Baseline: Data, ML, AI quest to work with BigQuery, Cloud Speech API and Cloud ML Engine. Follow Mark as he guides your path in these 1-minute videos. You’re on your way to building a strong foundation in data management, cloud data warehouse and real-time analytics to implement AI.

2. Put AI to work, fast:

Enroll in the Data Science on GCP quests to practice data ingestion, preparation, exploration and visualization. Finish the first quest and move on to the next, which zooms in on running machine learning jobs with state-of-the-art tools and real-world data sets. The material for these quests comes from a book by Lak, who amongst others will elaborate on how data scientists, developers and others can incorporate AI into their products during the conference. 

3. See AI in action:

Brush up on your ML skills with the Machine Learning APIs quest – some of my favorite labs guide you through use cases like image classification with Cloud Vision API and building an AI chatbot (: Then you’re well on your way to learn how businesses use AI to solve complex business problems like fighting fraud.

Think you can finish one of these quests in one month? Enroll now and be the stand-out participant at the conference! 

Become a data scientist without a PhD: Part 2

Remember that $1.2 trillion business value of AI? Just released, a new set of data science labs zoom in on Google Cloud’s data science and ML tools.  Enroll in the Data Science on GCP: Machine Learning quest by Monday, November 15th and you’ll get 1 month pass to Qwiklabs (free of charge, no CC required). You’ll run machine learning jobs with state-of-the-art tools and real-world data sets.

There are over 8,500 Data Scientist jobs on LinkedIn. 68% of those jobs require machine learning expertise. As a data scientist, you will transform data to:

  • Improve revenue, business agility, customer experience
  • Reduce costs
  • Development of new products and or product features

Don’t have these skills, or want to improve? You don’t need a PhD. Learn how to do all of these things and more with a lab. Here are some of the labs:

  1. Machine Learning with Spark on Google Cloud Dataproc lab: Analyze data using Spark with the PySpark interactive shell on the master node of the Cloud Dataproc cluster running on Google Cloud Datalab:

Then create and train a Spark Dataframe by importing, developing, saving and restoring a logistic regression model. You will then build data visualizations with Jupyter notebooks. In your model, does the on-time arrival probability rise with overall flight distance? Share your results @Qwiklabs!

2. Processing Time Windowed Data with Apache Beam and Cloud Dataflow (Java): You’ll configure Maven Apache using the starter project archetype for Cloud Dataflow projects:

Patience! This will take a few minutes to compile… When the build is successful, you should see something like this:

Finally! You’re ready to deploy a Java application to Apache Beam to create training and test data files.

If you are successful, you should see these files. Did you get it? Share your results! @Qwiklabs.

3. Bayes Classification with Cloud Datalab, Spark and Pig on Google Cloud Dataproc: Have you ever performed quantization of a data set? Here’s your chance. Use Dataproc, Datalab and Spark to perform quantization of a dataset to improve the accuracy of a data model. Then visualize your data with Jupyter notebooks and Apache Pig:

And don’t forget about part 1, the Data Science on GCP quest. Both quests cover the hands-on exercises described in Data Science on Google Cloud Platform book by Valliappa Lakshmanan (Lak).

You are invited to get started on your cloud journey

Did you know that the GCP Essentials quest shows you how to spin up a VM, configure key infrastructure tools, set up Load Balancers and work with Kubernetes nodes, all in less than four hours? Use this link to enroll in the quest by Friday, November 16th and you’ll get 10 Qwiklabs credits  (free of charge, no credit card required) to help you get started.

Then continue your cloud journey in person! Check out these events:

OnAir: Register for a live 45-minute webinar with Google Cloud experts to prepare for an AI-first future.  Join Diane Greene Google Cloud CEO, and the team for an interactive look at artificial intelligence by unlocking the benefits of machine learning.

DevFest: Another opportunity to meet with your community! DevFest is powered by a belief that when developers come together to exchange ideas, amazing things can happen. Each event is uniquely tailored to the needs of a hosted-region, and while your local event may or may not incorporate labs, we hope you can make it!

Next Extended: Not just in San Francisco – Next Extended events bring GCP to your town. Event starts off with food, networking and keynotes and transition to an open panel discussion. Attend a Next Extended event near you and be sure to join the hands-on labs session!

Summits: You can choose from over 20 sessions on machine learning, app development, infrastructure, security, etc. Work with executives, customers, partners, developers, IT decision makers and Google engineers to build the future of the cloud. Choose your city and see where the cloud takes you.

Google Cloud OnBoard: It’s a free, instructor-led training event, that introduces you to GCP. You’ll learn how to get started with virtual machines, containers, applications, big data, and machine learning through presentations and demonstrations. Attendees get a free 30-day pass to Qwiklabs to help you finish the GCP Essentials quest.

Study jams: We learn better together! Study jams are an opportunity to meet with the community of technology enthusiasts to brainstorm and dig deep into cloud concepts as a group. It’s a hands-on event where attendees get free access to the labs ($55+ value). You’ll learn fundamental GCP tools and technologies like Kubernetes, Stackdriver, and cloud storage with the GCP Essentials quest. Earn a Google-hosted badge to show your “flight time” with Google Cloud and encourage other members of your community to do the same.

Enroll in the GCP Essentials quest and come to an event near you. We look forward to meeting you!

Become a data scientist without a PhD

The business value of AI is projected to reach $1.2 trillion this year according to Gartner. Yet 40% of enterprise companies are not adopting AI. Why not?

3 simple reasons:

      1. Data Scientists are hard to find and hire. Want to become one? There’s a lab for that. Enroll in the Data Science on GCP quest by Friday, October 12th and you’ll get 40 credits (free of charge, no CC required). The labs in this quest are derived from the book Data Science on Google Cloud Platform.
      2. Data analysts with SQL skills (and other programming languages) are also rare. Get practice running SQL queries in the BigQuery console in the Introduction to SQL for BigQuery and Cloud SQL lab. Then experiment with SQL and ML in the Ingest data into the Cloud Using Google App Engine lab. You’ll run Python scripts to download, automatically fetch, and clean data using Google App Engine. You’ll also create a new application and deploy it to the Google App Engine:

Then use a Flask framework to ingest data and invoke it using cron:3. Infrastructure AI is resource-intensive, in terms of both staff, and compute power. Many on-prem setups simply cannot handle the demands of AI. You can learn to take advantage of Google Cloud’s compute power to run your advanced AI jobs. The Google Cloud Dataflow to process data lab shows you how to configure BigQuery and install Python packages to use Apache Beam:

Then you will monitor the progress of your Cloud Dataflow job and inspect the processed data:

You’ll also:

Need more practice with the GCP infrastructure?  Visualize data with Google Data Studio by running the query to get the IP address to connect to the Cloud SQL:

Then create table views to look at flights that are delayed by 10, 15, 20 minutes:

After connecting with the Data Studio, you’ll create a data visualization for flight delays:

Tackle the quest to practice ingestion, preparation, processing, querying, exploring and visualizing of data sets using GCP. When you earn the badge, let us know. You can find us at @Qwiklabs – and we’re always happy to hear about your accomplishments!

Learn the fundamentals of Security & Identity on GCP

Ever wondered why there were 944 cyber attacks in 2017 and 658 cyber attacks in 2018? Here are some facts:


Fortunately, there’s a way for you to take advantage of Google Cloud’s powerful security tools. Enroll in the Security & Identity Fundamentals quest by Friday, October 12th and you’ll get a 1 month pass to Qwiklabs (free of charge, no CC required). Here’s some of what you’ll learn:

  1. Service Accounts and Roles: Fundamentals: No prior knowledge with service accounts? No problem! Start with the Cloud IAM lab first to manage permissions by granting users roles. Need further help? Watch Heather and Jimmy.

Then create and manage service accounts by running queries on a BigQuery public dataset from a GCE instance.

 2. Data Loss Prevention API: Practice with an intelligent data service, Google Cloud Dataprep, to visually explore, clean and prepare data for analysis.

After getting practice with the lab, learn how Area 1, anti-phishing solution, provides security by building its service on GCP and using GCP tools to analyze data.

3. Getting started with Cloud KMS: Practice with advanced features of Google Cloud Security and Privacy APIs. With this lab you will set up a secure Cloud Storage bucket and manage keys and encrypted data using KMS. You’ll even use the Enron Corpus!

Do you have Columbus day off? You could use the extra time to earn this badge and strengthen your resume by learning the fundamentals of Security and Identity

Google Cloud training updates

Fun fact: GCP services can make your life easier! Got problems to solve? GCP can help you with data analytics, machine learning, networking, computing, storage, and more. 

The cloud is a big place. Get started qwikly (and economically) with hands-on training. Take any of the labs below by October 3rd, and you’ll get 25 Qwiklabs credits (free of charge, no CC required)!

1: Watch Priyanka as she shows you how to use labs for hands-on Practice with Google Cloud. She introduces you to the GCP environment, quests and lab manuals.

2: Take A Tour of Qwiklabs and the Google Cloud Platform lab to get familiar with GCP, the console and Qwiklabs lab environment. Here’s how to start a lab:

The tour walks you through every step of taking a lab. You explore tools you will use when you take labs, like the Cloud APIs & Services Library:

We’ll test your knowledge throughout the lab with milestones to help you understand key concepts:

Plus you’ll see activity tacking on the right hand side of each lab. Every milestone you reach in the lab earns you points. Get 20/20 to score 100% on the lab!

3. You’ll notice many labs teach you how to solve advanced use cases with APIs (like the Machine Learning APIs quest). Set yourself up for success with the APIs Explorer: Qwik Start lab to learn the basics. And of course, you can use a photo of a good dog!

4. SQL is another skill you’ll exercise in many labs. Don’t have much SQL experience? No problem. Start with the Introduction to SQL for BigQuery and Cloud SQL lab, and you’ll learn how to run SQL queries in the BigQuery console on a public dataset. This lab helps you understand the basics of running SQL queries in the Google Cloud.

For example, you’ll run this query:

…to see users in this example_table:

5. Have favorite labs?  them and they’ll be saved to your Learning page so that you can pick up where you left off:

Why wait? Take any of the labs and you’ll get 25 Qwiklabs credits (free of charge, no CC required). Set yourself up for success by taking the tour, and you’ll be prepared to take on your next challenge, like exploring TensorFlow and Cloud Datalab:

De-mystifying the cloud: Free cloud infrastructure training

Image source

Want to make your life easier by moving from on-prem to the cloud, but don’t know where to start? There’s a Quest for that. The Baseline: Infrastructure Quest gives you hands-on practice with GCP’s core infrastructure services like Cloud IAM, Kubernetes, and Stackdriver. Enroll in the Quest by Monday, September 24th you’ll get a 1-month pass (free of charge, no CC required) to earn the badge and show your “flight time” with Google Cloud.

Even better, each lab in the Quest has 1-minute videos to walk you through key concepts for each lab. Here are some of the labs in the Quest:

  • Cloud Storage: Qwik Start – Console: Use the Google Cloud Platform Console to create a storage bucket, upload objects, create folders & subfolders, and then make those objects publicly accessible.

When you’ve created a bucket & uploaded an object into the bucket, you can check your progress: 

Ensure that you’ve understood each concept by answering multiple choice questions: 

How did you do? Share your results @Qwiklabs. Need extra help? Watch Jenny as she walks you through this lab.

  • Cloud IAM: Qwik Start: Cloud IAM unifies access control for GCP services into a single system and presents a consistent set of operations. Learn to create and manage permissions with this lab. You’ll assign and remove roles associated with Identity and Access Management (IAM).

When you’ve removed project viewer access for a user with IAM, you should see a similar permission error:

If not, let Jenny come to your rescue in this video!

  • Kubernetes Engine: Qwik Start: After you’ve created a cluster, you’ll execute kubectl run command to create a new Deployment, hello-server, using the hello-app container image. Before you can inspect the hello-server service, you’ll need to expose your application to external traffic:

If you’re unable to view the application from your web browser using the external IP address with the exposed port, let Jenny help you!

  • Deployment Manager: Qwik Start: Since Deployment Manager is an infrastructure deployment service that automates the creation and management of GCP resources, you can write configuration files for Cloud Storage, Compute Engine, Cloud SQL, etc.

In this lab, you’ll write a file to create & deploy configuration, inspect the running environment and view the deployment manifest. While waiting to deploy your configuration, you’ll see a status message:

Don’t see it? Jenny can help you with this lab too!

Why wait? Enroll now before 2020 hits, and your server closet in the back room is still humming (:

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it….

There are 8000+ Cloud Architect jobs on LinkedIn and they can make up to $170k+ per year. High salary means high expectations. When you earn your Cloud Architect certification, you are tested on your ability to solve real-world problems. Prepare for the Cloud Architect certification exam and set yourself apart.

Need help practicing for the exam and testing your skills in a simulated crisis? Qwiklabs can help! Tackle the Challenge: GCP Architecture Quest to put your skills to the test. Instead of following “cookbook” steps, you’ll practice with common business/technology solutions using GCP.

Enroll in the Challenge: GCP Architecture Quest by Friday, September 21st and you’ll get a 1-month pass (free of charge, no CC required) to help you complete the Quest and practice for the Cloud Architect certification exam.

Here are a couple of scenarios from the Quest:

  • Google Cloud Essential Skills: Challenge Lab: Your company is ready to launch a brand new website, but the person who built the new site left the company before they could deploy it. Your challenge is to deploy the site in the public cloud.

Tip: Need help with VM? Check out the Creating a Virtual Machine lab before tackling this scenario.

If you need additional help with gcloud, read this documentation.

  • Deploy a Compute Instance with a Remote Startup Script: Since you need to manage the deployment and configuration of Google Cloud virtual machines, you’ve decided to make some changes to the framework. For example, storing startup scripts in a Cloud Storage bucket to make them easily modifiable.

Since these scripts automate initialization of compute instances, this will help you with overcoming a challenge. You will use a remote startup script to configure a Linux Google Compute Engine instance that installs the Apache web server. Have you ensured Apache installation by accessing the Compute Engine instance via HTTP?

Tip: Need help with Cloud Storage? Check out the Cloud Storage: Qwik Start – Console lab first.

  • Build and Deploy a Docker Image to a Kubernetes Cluster: Your development team wants to adopt containerized microservices approach to application architecture. Your task? Ensure you can deploy a sample application to a GCP Kubernetes container. To test deployment of echo-web with a Dockerfile, you must use a tag to build the Docker container image and store it on the Google Container Registry.

Tip: Having trouble with tagging? Take the Container Registry: Qwik Start lab first.

  • Update and Scale Out a Containerized Application on a Kubernetes Cluster: Your system architecture team has adopted a containerized micro-service architecture. You need to take ownership of a test environment to manage containerized web applications. Your challenge is to update the running echo-app application in the echo-web deployment from the v1 to the v2 code. And (because there’s always an “and”) then scale out the application to 2 instances and confirm that they are all running.

Tip: Need help with scaling your containerized applications? Take the Kubernetes Engine: Qwik Start lab first.

Fun fact: The Quest consists of seven scenarios and all of them have activity tracking so, you must score 100% in each scenario to earn the badge. Here’s a qwik preview of activity tracking you’ll see on the right hand side of each scenario:

Think you’ve got what it takes to earn the badge that very few people have added on their resumes? Tackle the Quest now to get the practice for the exam you won’t get anywhere else in the world and increase your career opportunities!

Back to school: Cloud training for educators

Jobs in the tech industry (machine learning, AI, Cloud) will grow between 12%–37% through 2022. Your computer science curriculum can unlock possibilities for students’ career advancement. Take advantage of free Google Cloud Platform training resources to help your students grow computer science skills:

    • If you’re associated with a non-profit university, complete this form to request free training on Qwiklabs and Coursera.

Next, use your benefit to have your students enroll in a few machine learning Quests:

  • Baseline: Data, ML, AI Quest: Since machine learning is growing rapidly in the tech industry, help your students get started with data tools like Cloud SQL, BigQuery, APIs, Bigtable, Dataproc, Dataprep, and Cloud ML Engine. If your students are interactive learners, they can follow along Mark as he guides their path.
  • Machine Learning APIs Quest: Give your students the opportunity to work with a handful of machine learning APIs. For example, they’ll work with Translation API and Natural Language API to translate text into other languages. They’ll also work with Cloud Vision API to capture text from images and Google Cloud Dialogflow to build a responsive chat bot.
  • Data Science on GCP Quest. Challenge your students to use Tensorflow, Dataflow and Data Studio to practice all aspects of datasets, such as ingestion, exploration, visualization, etc.

Fun fact: This Quest is derived from the book, Data Science on Google Cloud Platform by Valliappa Lakshmanan. Lak is on a mission to democratize machine learning. If your students were to read the book, they will learn how to apply statistical and machine learning methods to real-world problems.

If your class is interested in learning about the fundamentals of Google Cloud in-person, register for a study jam. Your students will get free access to the GCP Essentials Quest during the session and you’ll get two days of free lesson plans. If they complete the Quest within 1 month of their session, they’ll get a 30-day pass to Qwiklabs (free of charge, no CC required). They can use the pass to tackle any of the machine learning Quests mentioned above.

Why wait? Take advantage of these programs and set your students up for success by helping them add these badges to their resumes: