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!

AWS Educate Program for Veterans & Family

On Veteran’s Day, AWS Educate announced a new program to help US veterans and their spouses skill up with cloud training and career resources. Are you a vet? Do you know a vet? This program is worth checking out.  

The AWS Educate Program helps individuals skill up on the cloud with career-centric training and learning resources. The program focuses on 4 job families that align with the AWS Educate Job Board: 

  • Cloud Architect
  • Software Developer
  • Operations-Support Engineer
  • Analytics and Big Data Specialist
Within these categories, the AWS Educate program offers 25+ different paths to prepare you for the next step in your cloud career. 

AWS Educate Program benefits include:

Overheated? Turn up the AC with AWS IoT

Thermostat

The IoT thermostat looks a little different… Photo courtesy of alex_why(CC No Derivatives)

Is it hot in here? AWS IoT can help, and qwikLABS can show you how with our brand new lab: Introduction to AWS Internet of Things (IoT). Does this lab sound familiar? That’s because it was one of the #nextqwikLAB winners earlier this Summer. 

So what does AWS IoT have to do with heat? Other than IoT being hot new technology, this lab teaches you how to use AWS IoT to detect temperature changes in a simulated environment, and control the thermostat accordingly. It’s a three part lab (pretty in-depth for an intro freebie), but don’t let that scare you away. 

What I like about this lab:

  • This lab keeps you busy. In a good way! We try to keep intro-level labs simple. They are geared towards AWS first-timers and freshmen. This lab sticks to basic concepts, as an intro. But you do a lot, and when you finish, you feel like you’ve had a busy hour. 
  • You walk through a real-world scenario. Sounds obvious, but it’s great to get hands-on practice with a problem you know you will encounter in real life. As you go through the lab, envision applying the strategies and tools in the lab to your environment.
  • Lots of images. I appreciate visuals when I’m learning, especially when in unfamiliar territory (of course it’s a personal preference). I like to see screenshots that either confirm I’m doing it right, or point out that I’m doing it wrong and I need to try again. 

Get your lab on at AWS Chicago Summit

Are you in Chicago? Check out the AWS Summit, happening now. Say hi to Dave, the qwikLABS on-scene expert!

https://qwiklabs.com/

Many labs were taken.

One for the road

Snag a token (or 2) and take a free lab at the event, or save it for later. Bring one home to your friend while you’re at it – save your souvenir budget. 

qwiklabs.com

New look, same price (free!).

If you’re in Chicago, I hope you swing by and take a lab or two. And if you’re not in Chicago, no worries, qwikLABS AWS labs are available anywhere with an internet connection. Take a look at our catalog and find your next lab. 

qwikLABS: The almond of tech learning

One of the things we have in our office consistently, 100% of the time, is snack food. Some of it is healthy (dried mangos) and some of it is a little on the junkfood side (even though the popcorn promises it’s a good source of vitamins).

Redshift-cluster

Generic clip-art lady with donuts – you can find anything on the internet…

Every day we sample a little of this and a little of that. We have our favorites that we keep stocked. We try new things and decide whether or not a second appearance is deserved.

The office favorite? Almonds. What do we like about them? They’re nourishing. Flavorful. Satisfying. They come in different flavors, and are delicious in (almost!) any iteration. Bottom line? Almonds are snackable, and good for you.

So what is the point, other than making everyone feel hungry? qwikLABS, with our hands-on lab approach to training, is the almond of learning new technology. Seriously, learning new technologies like AWS can result in massive career opportunities. And qwikLABS, with our snackable, good-for-you labs, should be in your browser’s recent history (if you’re not taking one right now).

How GPU Technology Conferences are Part of a Vast Conspiracy

… to make the impossible possible with GPU technologies! 

Last day of the GPU Tech Conference, be sure to take advantage of self-paced labs with qwikLABS. Get your lab on – starting at 9:30 (and if you’re not there, check out our online labs). 

Did you partake of yesterday’s baked-to-perfection cookies? Or are you just there for the robots?

Seriously looks like a great party, but even more seriously, take things into your own hands and get into NVIDIA technology, fast. Check out these live, hands-on labs and learn to program GPUs with C++, or Python, or Fortran, or MATLAB – any place, your pace. Check out labs on OpenACC and Deep Learning too (Intro to Deep Learning is free!). 

GPU Tech Conference 2016

So what flavor doughnut did you get? 

Final Countdown

I’ll make this quick, since time is running out. Tomorrow night, the AWS 10 year celebration comes to an end, and so do free AWS labs (but intro labs are always free – as they were even before this event). You’ve accomplished a lot in the last two weeks. Be proud of the effort you’ve put in!

Finish strong – keep up your momentum and sneak in one or two final freebies before the price tags return. On April 1, AWS labs will return to normal prices.

Congratulations once again to AWS on 10 years of success, and happy lab-taking!

PS: Do you like numbers? Stay tuned for some stats on how much you accomplished since March 14 🙂

Hi, my name is PuTTY

You’re cruising thru a lab at the speed of light when WHAM! “Using PuTTY….” Wait, what’s putty? Why do I need it? How do I use it? Is this a drywall tutorial? I’m so confused!

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. PuTTY shows up in many of the AWS labs (normally $8-$15 each, now free of charge – but only thru March 31), and often people have a few questions.

Do I need it?

PuTTY is a (free) SSH client. It gives you a command line tool, and allows you to control the remote host you create as part of your lab. You need PuTTY if you are using a Windows PC. If you use a Mac or a Linux machine, you’ll follow a different set of instructions.

Where do I get it? Is it free? Is it safe to download?

Read about it here. (Safely) download the most recent version here.

Once I get it, how do I use it? Screenshots please?

Once you get to PuTTY in the lab instructions, find the putty.exe file (likely in your Downloads folder) and double-click to launch it. Instructions will vary (so follow the instructions in your lab), but you’ll probably want to enter a host name like this*:

Enter host name for your PuTTY session
*If you’re like me, you’ll have to go back and add “ec2-user@” in front of the public DNS when you realize your connection didn’t work the first time.

Expand the Connection tree, then expand SSH, then click (don’t expand) Auth. 

Upload your PPK key for your PuTTY session
If you do expand Auth, no biggie, just collapse the tree (otherwise you won’t see the field you need).

You’ll see a field for your private key – browse to the PPK file provided by the lab (likely in your Downloads folder).

Wait, PPK file? Where do I find that?

Both the PPK file and the PEM file (if you need it) can be downloaded from your lab instructions.

Finding your PEM/PPK files
Find the Connection Details at the top right of your lab instructions screen.

PEM and PPK Download Tool
Click the dropdown to download each file.

When you connect, you might see a message like this (fascinating right?) – click yes to make the connection.

PuTTY Alert…and you’re in! Now you’re a pro. When was the first time you used PuTTY?

Weekend at qwikLABS

Got some free time this weekend? (Snowed in? Bracket busted? Or just motivated to master the AWS Cloud?) Take advantage of qwikLABS’ unlimited free AWS lab event (all part of #AWSCloud10) before time runs out (on March 31).

Not sure where to start? If you’re familiar with AWS already and want to skip the intros, check these labs out (while they’re free of charge):

If you are new to AWS, get your first look at the AWS Console in less than 30 minutes with Intro to EC2 – then dive deeper into more complex labs like Building a Media Sharing Website – Part 1.

Does one of these catch your eye? If you’re feeling ambitious, take a look at our Quests (can you earn a badge in a weekend?).

Even if you don’t have time to squeeze in a free lab or two, have a great weekend!

Challenge yourself to a Quest

We noticed a massive jump in Quest selections this week as a result of #AWSCloud10 – so we thought this would be a good time to talk about how qwikLABS Quests work.

Each Quest consists of a collection  of labs that focus on a specific area of AWS organized by technologies, specific services (e.g. Amazon Web Services) and practical use cases.

At the end of a Quest, you get two things:

  • Advanced knowledge of that specific area of AWS
  • A shareable badge to show what you accomplished (for your resume, social media profiles, and more)

The most popular Quest right now? Compute & Networking. Second most popular? Solutions Architect – Associate exam prep.

While we’re celebrating #AWSCloud10, all labs are offered at no cost, so now is the perfect time to take a Quest or two and add to your badge collection (psst, normally the most expensive Quest is Deployment & Management).

Don’t have the bandwidth to finish a Quest between now and the 31st? No worries – there is no time limit on Quests. Enroll in a quest now, take advantage of as many labs as you’re able to (in any order you want) at no charge, then finish at your own pace later (after March 31, you may have to pay for some labs).

What Quest are you taking next?