New quest: Exploring APIs

This is Holly. She is a good dog, and according to the Cloud Vision API, she is a beagle. Test your pet’s background with a lab – cheaper than a DNA kit – with the new Exploring APIs quest. Enroll now and use code 1q-api-685 for 25 free Qwiklabs credits to start your quest. Hurry, code expires February 10, 2019. 

APIs allow you to access Google Cloud features and data from your own application. The labs in this quest will equip you to build complex scenarios to take advantage of GCP’s powerful compute tools. The APIs Explorer gives you a quick and easy way to create complex API calls, even if you don’t consider yourself an API expert. Here’s some of what you’ll do in the quest:

  • APIs Explorer: Qwik Start – You can use your pet’s photo in place of the provided image. Just make sure to change the name of the file (including the file extension) to demo-image.jpg. Floofs aside, imagine how this technology might be used in a retail warehouse to help packing robots find the product you ordered.
  • APIs Explorer: Compute Engine – Learn how to create a Compute Engine instance with Explorer, then monitor CPU usage with StackDriver. This Cloud Engineer role outside of Boston, paying up to $180k, is looking for someone who can help “configure (through automation) infrastructure and applications for high performance and highly available operation to meet business needs.” There’s an opportunity to use what you know about APIs to make a real business impact.
  • APIs Explorer: IoT – Want to get into IIoT in 2019? Start by creating a temperature telemetry stream in this lab.

Whether you’re identifying pet breeds or landing a new job, complete the quest and add the badge to your resume. Good luck!

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!

What do Princess Leia headphones and SQL have in common?

Flare leg jeans, Princess Leia headphones and dad sneakers are all back in style and improving with age (OK the headphones at least sound better). Know what else has improved since its invention in the 70s? SQL.

Whether you’re digging deep into Big Query on a daily basis or you’re peripherally aware that your company relies on a SQL database (it probably does), SQL is better than ever in 2018 when you pair it with the power of GCP’s infrastructure. Set yourself apart among your peers by enrolling in the new Cloud SQL quest and learn how your company can take advantage of Cloud SQL’s simplicity, reliability and security. 

Use this link to enroll by Friday and you will get 35 credits to start your Quest free of charge. Hurry, offer ends soon!

Here’s some of what you will learn in the new quest:

  • Introduction to SQL for BigQuery and Cloud SQL: Start with this high-rated lab to get a basic understanding of SQL and GCP. “Good examples” and “learned SQL commands” according to lab reviews.
  • Choose your own adventure: Create a Cloud SQL instance with either Terraform or Deployment Manager. Or since you’re a subscriber, take both labs for no extra cost!
  • Meme me up: Deploy a highly available and scalable “meme generator” application by configuring a Postgres Cloud SQL database and connecting it to a Kubernetes cluster.

May the force be with you on your quest!

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!

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!

Cloud training tricks & treats

It was a dark and stormy night. The power flickers, then goes out. Oh no, all of your servers in the next room are off! Your business is down until further notice!

Sound scary? We can help. Whether you’re moving from on-premise to the cloud or looking to build your cloud skills to make your next career move, learn how the public cloud can help you vanquish the monster in your closet with Google Cloud labs. And your Halloween treat? Click here to take the “happy Halloween” lab and you’ll get candy – wait – Qwiklabs credits (30 of them) – enough to take up to 10 labs free of charge. Hurry, offer ends at midnight (on November 2)!

Use those credits to get training on moving your business-critical apps from the server closet (it’s probably full of monsters after all) to Google Cloud. These labs will help you prepare for the move:

  • Deploy an app that says “hello world and happy Halloween!” from the cloud with the App Engine: Qwik Start lab.  This lab is part of the Baseline: Deploy & Develop quest. Enroll in the quest and get hands-on experience with the Google App Engine framework by launching Python, Ruby, and Java apps (just to name a few). 
  • Networking 101: Learn how GCP might differ from an on-premises setup. “Good explanation,” said one reviewer 2 days ago.
  • Already using containers on-prem? Learn how to do it on the cloud with Google Container Engine. This lab earned seven 5-star reviews in the last 24 hours. 
  • The phrase “data loss” is almost as scary as meeting a werewolf in a creepy forest when you’re holding a rare hamburger. Learn how to use the Data Loss Prevention API to inspect a string of data for sensitive information and redact any that you find. The Data Loss Prevention API provides programmatic access to a powerful detection engine for personally identifiable information and other privacy-sensitive data in unstructured data streams. Try it with a lab.
  • Uh-oh, your app has a bug in it. Learn how Stackdriver APM (Application Performance Management) can help you detect, track, and debug errors in your application with this lab. And mind the monster socks!

Happy Halloween!

New Quest: G Suite Integrations

G Suite has over 4 million customers today, and growing.  Are you one of them? Get the most out of G Suite and Google Cloud’s powerful tools. Just released, the G Suite: Integrations quest features 8 new G Suite labs, each one designed to make you look smarter than the one before. Get G Suite training on advanced tools like integrating BigQuery and Google Slides for data visualization and building your own custom apps for Google Sheets.

Complete all 8 labs and add the new G Suite badge to your resume. And if you’re one of the first 100 people to enroll using this link, you will receive 50 Qwiklabs credits free of charge (enough to complete the quest). Enroll now.

Here’s some of what you’ll do:

  1. Learn how to write code that accesses Google developer technologies, in just 4 lines of JavaScript.
  2. Use the Apps Script CLI, or clasp, to create and publish web apps and add-ons for products like Sheets, Docs, Forms, and Slides from the command line. In this lab you will learn to create, edit, and deploy Apps Script projects locally.
  3. Build a chatbot for Hangouts Chat. This one is “Attendance Bot” – you will learn to integrate it with a user’s vacation responder and meetings in Calendar. What kind of chatbot would improve your daily routine (and maybe lunchbreak)?
  4. Got a presentation coming up? Use Google Slides API as a Custom Presentation Tool. Learn to build a presentation using the Google Slides API and BigQuery to present an analysis of the most common software licenses. Take what you learn in the lab to your next presentation and knock your stakeholders’ socks off.
  5. More Big Data and Slides – learn how to leverage two Google developer platforms, G Suite and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), to collect, analyze and present data.                                                                                          
  6. Good luck on your quest! And don’t forget to share your badge when you complete it – @Qwiklabs – after all, you earned it.