How to maximize your impact in 2019 with the AI for Good challenge

A 3-step guide for maximizing your impact in 2019:

  1. Have an idea for how to use AI to help address society’s challenges.
  2. Spend some time thinking about your idea and formulate a plan of action. Is your idea impactful? Feasible? Scalable?
  3. Apply for Google.org’s AI for Good grant.

Google.org is still looking for for organizations around the world to submit ideas for solving societal problems with AI. If your idea is selected, you will receive Google.org grant funding from a $25M pool, support and consulting with Google’s AI and cloud experts, and more resources to help your idea become a reality. The deadline to apply is January 22.

Need some help getting started? Check out some of these resources:

  1. The 7 Steps of Machine Learning, video, 10 minutes: Join Yufeng as he applies machine learning  to universal questions.
  2. AI Experiments: A showcase for simple experiments to help you start exploring ML through music, images, language and more.
  3. 6 free data-related labs: Start exploring the capabilities of BigQuery and data analysis in the Google Cloud – key components of using AI effectively.
  4. Want more labs? Check out a previous post with lots of gnarly data/ML/AI use cases and scenarios.

Get artificial intelligence training with these resources and online training modules, then submit your ideas by January 22 – good luck!

The 30-day challenge you want to join

Big data is one of the top growing career fields in tech right now (according to Dice, Forbes and others). Learning  how to work with data in the cloud is easier than you think. 

Challenge yourself! Start 2019 with a new Google Cloud badge. Set yourself a goal to complete the Data Engineering quest in 30 days. Use code 1q-30days-806 to get a free 30-day pass to Qwiklabs, and begin your challenge. EXTENDED to January 11 – enroll by Friday to get your free pass (:

This quest is designed to help you practice topics and use cases for the Data Engineering certification exam. Here’s some of what you’ll learn:

  1. Cloud TPU: Qwik Start! You get to play with TPUs and TensorFlow. Need I say more?
  2. Predict Housing Prices with Tensorflow and Cloud ML Engine – In this lab you will build an end to end machine learning solution using Tensorflow + Cloud ML Engine and leverage the cloud for distributed training and online prediction. For extra credit, check out this talk on forecasting stock returns with the same tools (:
  3. Predict Taxi Fare with a BigQuery ML Forecasting Model – Taxi! Explore millions of New York City yellow taxi cab trips available in a BigQuery Public Dataset, create a ML model inside of BigQuery to predict the fare, and evaluate the performance of your model to make predictions.

Complete the quest and automatically receive another 30-days free – what quest will you take next? And don’t forget to add your new Google Cloud badge to your resume:

Good luck, and best wishes to you for a healthy and happy 2019!

Treat yourself to a year of labs

New from Qwiklabs, save money and make your expense reports easy with an annual subscription. Get 1 year of unlimited access to the entire Qwiklabs catalog for one price. New labs are added daily – get in now and take advantage of all the new training we’ll publish in the next 12 months for no extra charge. Even better, an annual description gets you a 25% discount compared to a monthly subscription.

Subscribe now.

Annual subscription FAQs

Q: What do I do if I currently have a monthly subscription, but I want to save money and purchase an annual subscription?
A: Upgrade! Go to the Qwiklabs My Account page and you will see an option to upgrade your monthly subscription to annual. Any balance you have left on your current subscription will be pro-rated to your annual subscription.

Q: Do annual subscriptions auto-renew?
A: Yes, but you can cancel anytime. When you cancel, you can enjoy the remaining time left on your subscription, and you will not be charged again.

Q: I want to purchase one year only, without worrying about an auto-renewal.
A: No problem! Purchase an annual subscription, then immediately cancel it. Your subscription will remain active for a year and will not auto-renew.

Q: Does the subscription include Google labs and AWS labs?
A: Yes, both Google and AWS labs.

Q: What if I purchased credits? Can I transfer them to a subscription?
A: No, unfortunately you cannot do this.

Q: Can I share my subscription?
A: No, one subscription should be used by one individual.

Q: How many badges can I earn with an annual subscription?
A: Earn as many as you like – there is no limit.

Q: I have a question that is not answered here. Help!
A: Please reach out to Support and we’ll be happy to assist you.

No CC required for this Cyber Monday deal

What’s so special about Qwiklabs.com? It might be the only site you visit today that does not require your credit card. Just released, 10 free labs are available now in the GCP catalog. The new skills you learn will not break, go out of style or require batteries. Instead of online shopping, start your next career move free of charge and learn how to:

  1. Create a small App Engine application that displays a short message. Comes with video.
  2. Give your brain a workout by practicing with the Google Fitness API – and you’ll learn about the architecture and basic functioning of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).

  3. Write a demo app that retrieves data from G Suite APIs. You can’t go wrong with free G Suite training. Plus, you’ll get a free start on your G Suite: Integrations quest.
  4. Create your own App Maker app that has a Google Cloud SQL Database, Google Maps integration, and a Mobile Responsive Design. And of course, fully published and ready to use. 

Get these free labs and more at qwiklabs.com – and stay tuned, the catalog will continue to grow!

Cloud SQL: There’s a new quest for that!

SQL was developed in the 1970s but don’t think it’s too old to learn new tricks. SQL remains the most in-demand skill for data analysts, and it’s getting more powerful by the day with the help of cloud technology.

Cloud SQL hosted on GCP, offers high performance, vertical scalability and convenience. Why not see for yourself? Just released, enroll in the new Cloud SQL quest by Tuesday, November 30th and you’ll get a 1-month pass to Qwiklabs to get practice Cloud SQL on GCP (free of charge, no CC required). Here are some of the labs that you’ll take to earn your Cloud SQL badge:

  1. Dealing with flight delays? There’s a lab for that! Load Data into Google Cloud SQL to build data model to test consistency between flight arrival and departure time. 

This lab uses code samples from the Data Science on GCP book and covers configuration of Google Cloud SQL. You’ll prepare your environment by cloning the code samples on GCP repository and then create a Cloud SQL instance. After importing flight data from CSV into Cloud SQL, you’ll write queries to build a data model:

Take the quiz to reinforce your understanding:

2. You still haven’t built a website for your cousin, and the holidays are just around the corner? There’s a lab for that! Learn how to build a website qwikly and cheaply with the App Engine and WordPress lab.

  1. You’ll create a Console project with Cloud SQL instance and storage bucket, and configure them to sync with your WordPress blog. Then set up a dependency management tool for PHP, Composer:

Is your Composer output similar to the one from the lab? Share your results @Qwiklabs.

Tip: Having trouble with step 3 of creating your WordPress project? You’ll need to enter the credentials from connection details. Find them on the left side of your lab manual:

Last, you’ll activate Cloud Storage plugin to deploy and configure your project. This plugin lets you upload media files to the Cloud Storage bucket and serve them from there. Be sure to test your knowledge and show off your results @Qwiklabs:

3. Want to learn how to develop applications with mobile responsive design but don’t have the time? There’s a lab for that! Build Apps with Google App Maker in a fraction of time with little (or even no) coding experience.

  1. When you’re done, your app will have a Cloud SQL database to set up business data models, maps integration to locate your business and mobile responsive design. It’ll look like this:

Complete the quest and don’t forget to add this shiny new badge to your resume.

An open call for crazy ideas

Got an idea so crazy it just might work? Google’s AI for good team wants to hear it. Just announced, Google.org is calling for organizations around the world to submit ideas for solving societal problems with AI. If your idea is selected, you will receive Google.org grant funding from a $25M pool, support and consulting with Google’s AI and cloud experts, and more resources to help your idea become a reality.

Not sure where to start? There’s a lab for that. Learn about AI, machine learning and GCP tools, and how they come together in real-world scenarios. Then apply what you learn to approach societal problems you are passionate about. For a limited time through November 24, use the links in this post to claim 45 free Qwiklabs credits, good towards any lab in the catalog. Just enter promo code 1q-165 – it sounds crazy, but it just might work!

  1. The Cloud ML Engine: Qwik Start lab is an excellent starting point if you’re new to GCP. This lab assumes little to know prior knowledge, and by the end of the lab you have built a TensorFlow model, trained it both locally and in the cloud using Cloud ML Engine (CMLE), and used GCP’s online prediction service. 
  2. Classify Images of Clouds in the Cloud with AutoML Vision: The Zoological Society of London is using AutoML to protect endangered species. Try it for yourself with a lab.
  3. Scikit-learn Model Serving with Online Prediction Using Cloud Machine Learning Engine: This 4+ star lab teaches you how to train a simple scikit-learn model, upload the model to ML Engine, and make online predictions against that model.
  4. Translate Text with the Translation API: Can you think of how smooth, seamless translation might be part of your solution? Learn how to take advantage of Google Cloud’s translation API in just 30 minutes. Talk nerdy to me!
  5. Integrating Machine Learning APIs: Now that you have API experience, learn how to use multiple APIs to construct a pipeline that compares an audio recording with an image and determines their relevance to each other. This is an advanced level lab, so if you find yourself in trouble, check out this intro to APIs lab.
  6. Real Time Machine Learning with Google Cloud ML: While a delayed flight is a minor inconvenience compared to societal problems like protecting endangered species and forecasting catastrophic flooding, it is certainly not fun to be stuck in an airport far from home. (I’m writing this in an airport by the way!) This lab teaches you how to create a real-time flight delay prediction service using Google Cloud Platform services. Can you think of how you might apply what you learn to other scenarios?

Get artificial intelligence training with these Google Cloud labs, then submit your ideas at https://ai.google/social-good – good luck!

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 January 12th (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).

 

Google Cloud training: 33 new labs

Big things are happening in Google Cloud. BigQuery ML, for example, just announced at Next ‘18. Even if you weren’t there, you can still take advantage of 33+ new labs released at the conference. And if you haven’t yet seen the new BigQuery interface, you can check it out with a lab.

Here’s what’s new on Qwiklabs:

  1. Predict Visitor Purchases with a Classification Model in BQML: Use the latest and greatest technology to answer the top question in online retail. Click here to take the lab free of charge, first 25 readers only.
    Google Cloud BQML lab
  2. Classify Images of Clouds in the Cloud with AutoML Vision: AutoML Vision helps developers with limited ML expertise train high quality image recognition models. Take AutoML on a test drive with this lab.
  3. Managing Cloud Infrastructure with Terraform: #MakeGoogleDoIt – launch your cloud resources, that is. Learn how Terraform can boost your team’s efficiency, by creating configuration files that can be shared, treated as code, edited, reviewed, and versioned.
    Terraform Google Cloud Training
  4. Kubernetes Solutions: Work hard, play harder. Use Kubernetes to run dedicated gaming servers, plus 7 more advanced Kubernetes use cases in this Quest.
    Kubernetes Google Cloud Training
  5. Network Performance and Optimization: If you’re the one they call when the network is down, these labs are for you. Learn how GCP can help you sleep at night with better network speed, performance, and reliability.
    Networking Google Cloud Training
  6. Challenge Quest: 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. This and six other scenarios make up the Challenge Quest, to test your skills in a simulated crisis. Good luck!
    Challenge lab: Google Cloud Training

If you have an Advantage subscription, all of this new content is included in your subscription, no extra charge. Not a subscriber yet? Use promo code NEW33 for 33% off your first month. Promo code is valid through August 1o (Friday).

Good luck on your next Quest!

Next ’18: Got your ticket?

Are you ready for the Next ‘18 conference? You’ll get access to Google keynotes, working sessions, exclusive certification opportunities, expert Q&A, opportunities to participate in bootcamps, and more. And if you can’t make it to San Francisco, check out these Next Extended events around the world. 

Next ’18 is the perfect opportunity to take a certification exam. Not sure where to begin, or how to prepare? Start your certification journey with hands-on labs. You can even take labs before the event so you get the most out of your experience at the conference.

Enroll in any of the following Quests, and get 30 credits free of charge (no credit card required). 

 1. The GCP Essential Quest is the most popular Quest of all time. Practice with GCP basics like starting a Virtual Machine and working with key infrastructure tools like Stackdriver and Kubernetes. Complete the Quest and you’ll earn this badge:

2. Need more specialized practice with the Google Cloud? Tackle the Baseline: Infrastructure Quest and you will learn to use Cloud Storage, deploy a containerized application with Google Kubernetes Engine, build a Docker image, create and deploy a Cloud Function, publish and consume messages, create a Cloud IoT Core device registry and use Cloud Spanner. Here’s the badge you’ll earn:

3. Hoping to become a certified Google Cloud Architect? Next attendees who get certified will have exclusive access to the certification lounge (and snacks!). Complete the Cloud Architecture Quest to help you practice exam topics. Get in-depth experience with Identity and Access Management (IAM), infrastructure scenarios, Cloud Security and Privacy APIs, breaking an application into microservices, debugging, API call tracing and using Deployment Manager to establish alerts to trigger incident response. You’ll earn another badge, too!

4. Google’s Data Engineering certification is unique. Set yourself apart by earning this certification. Practice key exam concepts with the Data Engineering Quest (designed by Google’s training team). You’ll get experience with TensorFlow, an IoT pipeline, BigQuery and Datalab, and even learn how to correspond to your sales data with the weather! Here’s the badge you’ll earn:

See you at Next ’18!

 

 

Google Labs just released!

Qwiklabs has big news – Google labs are available now! Just in time for Next ’17. Even better news: all Google Cloud labs are available free of charge (for a limited time).

Click here to see all Google Cloud labs.

If you are already a Qwiklabs user, you can use your Qwiklabs credentials to log in (even though the URL is slightly different than what you’re used to seeing). You will find Google Cloud labs for all experience levels. Want to learn the basics? Try one of these introductory labs:

Or, expand your skillset with a more advanced lab:

Questers, we’ve got something for you too! Be one of the first to add a Google Cloud badge to your resume. Enroll now, and complete your quest while all the labs are available free!

Google Cloud Qwiklabs badges

Got questions I didn’t answer? I’m here to help. Just post a comment here and we’ll get back to you right away.

Happy lab-taking!