What new @ ACG - New Year New Great Content
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What’s New at A Cloud Guru – February 2020

Sam Kroonenburg
Sam Kroonenburg

Welcome to 2020, gurus! We’re just a few weeks into the new year (and new decade!) – and we’re kicking things off with some notable new courses, new episodes of your favorite series, and helpful new projects for Azure and GCP.

First up…AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty

Alexa is kind of a big deal. Over 100,000 Alexa Skills, growing attention and investment from companies of all stripes, and now, its very own AWS specialty certification.

Our new course prepares you for the AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Speciality exam using real-world case studies to teach you how to design and build engaging voice experiences. Join AWS Machine Learning Hero and Alexa Champion Kesha Williams (and co-instructor Alexa!) and dig into Alexa. Learn how to use voice-first design patterns, navigate the steps to architect an Alexa Skill in AWS, tap into advanced features like visual elements, sound effects, and video.

After building your very own Alexa Skill, learn how to test it using Alexa Simulator, then certify and publish it to the Alexa Skills Store.

No experience building Alexa Skills is required. If you’ve been looking to get into skill building and voice applications, there’s no better guide than Kesha.

AWS Security Best Practices

You can’t venture far into the world of AWS without running into the Shared Responsibility Model. But it’s one thing to know that AWS is responsible for security of the cloud, and you’re responsible for security in the cloud. It’s another to put it into practice.

Join Lee Atchison for a deep dive into AWS security best practices, from exploring the theory behind various security topics to applying best practices to keep your applications secure and well-protected.

By the end of this course, you’ll understand how AWS provides a more secure environment than an on-premise data center, what security levers you can use to protect your applications, and how to best employ them.

Intro to Jupyter Notebooks

What is data analytics? What is data visualization? What’s the difference between the two? Why is Jupyter spelled with a “y”? Romeo Radanyi answers all of these questions and more in our new Introduction to Jupyter Notebooks course.

In this course, you’ll get up to speed on data analytics and visualization, setting up and using Jupyter Notebooks, taking a real dataset beyond charts and graphs to create interactive elements and predictions, leveraging machine learning to get even more from your data, and putting it all in the cloud with AWS, Google, and Azure hosted notebook services.

Sounds daunting, but don’t worry, this course is designed for beginners. You don’t need to know anything about data science or machine learning – all you need is an interest in getting started. If you can understand basic coding, you’ll get along just fine.

AZ-500 Microsoft Azure Security Technologies

Late last year, we released our AZ-500 course in preview. Well, it’s now out of preview and live as a full course. This course, led by Paul Schwarzenberger, will teach you how to design and implement security technologies and services in Azure, and is a great way to prepare for your AZ-500 exam and earn your Azure Security Engineer Associate certification.

Moving on from courses, we’ve got two new Projects to build your cloud skills:

Project: The Smile Detector (Azure)

You don’t need a PhD in data science to tap into AI – nowadays developers can harness the power of AI in their own solutions. In this ACG Project, Henk Boelman shows us how by building a ‘smile detector’ using the Face API from Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services.  Henk walks you through what the API is capable of and shows you how to build a program in Python that takes full advantage of the Face API. Check it out – it might just make you smile!

Project: Keep Your Website Working 24×7! Build High-Availability Databases in the Cloud Using Google Cloud SQL (GCP) 

When your database needs to be online 24×7, high availability isn’t just a nice-to-have. Databases going down lead to users freaking out, phones blowing up, support tickets flooding in, and database admins kissing their good night goodnight. In this project, Alessandro Falanque simulates what to do when your ecommerce database goes down, and how to prevent the situation from happening again. It’s a great way to get hands on with Google Cloud SQL and learn how to configure it for high availability.

We’ve also got a slew of new original series episodes for your enjoyment:

re:Invent 2019

Re:live the best of re:Invent 2019, as our expert instructors and technical editors recap, review, and react to the announcements that have them most excited.

Release Review – Amazon ECS

Follow along as Travis Ralph breaks down Amazon Elastic Container Service. What is it? How does it work? How do you quickly scale Docker images through container deployments? Dig into the nitty gritty details with a demo, then stick around as Travis weighs in with his pros, cons, and a verdict.

Release Review – Amazon Lex

Yep, a second Release Review! This time out, Travis tackles Amazon Lex, a new service for building conversational interfaces using voice and text. Walk through what Lex is, how it works, and go through an in-depth demo to create a chatbot before closing with the usual pros, cons, and verdict.

DeepRacer – At the Apex

Head for the checkered flag in this final episode of Nick and Scott’s DeepRacer series! For the finale, follow Nick and Scott to the DeepRacer finals at re:Invent 2019.

We’ve also got two new Azure Fireside Chats, where Lars sits down with Azure experts Eldert Grootenboer and Heather Downing, as well as new installments of GCP This Month and Kubernetes This Month.

Finally, a bit of news

In addition to all of these new courses, projects, and episodes, we have a bit of news to share since our last update. In December, A Cloud Guru acquired Linux Academy. By joining forces, we’ll be able to bring you more than we ever have before. This isn’t about cost-cutting or taking things away, it’s about teaching the world to cloud with the largest, most effective cloud training library in the world. We’ve just started the process of integrating our two companies, but we’re finding out more and more that we’re better together.

What does this mean for you? For the immediate future, nothing at all. Both companies will continue to operate as normal while we work to bring our offerings together. We are planning to combine our two platforms, and have very ambitious internal deadlines, because we know such a platform will be a great win for our customers. There’s still a lot to work out, so we aren’t publicizing timeframes just yet, but rest assured, we’re moving fast!


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