Exploring Big Data: Course 1 – Microsoft Professional Orientation: Big Data

Big Data with Sam Lester


(This is part 1 of my review of the Microsoft Professional Program in Big Data)

Course #1 of 10 - Microsoft Professional Orientation: Big Data

Overview: Titled as the Big Data orientation, the course does just that as it gives a great overview of several key concepts. I really liked digging into CosmosDB to learn more about the difference between Key/Value pair, Document DB, and Graph DB. The batch and real-time processing in HDInsight videos were also really good as an overview. One benefit for me was to have this all set up in my Azure lab within a few hours so that I can continue to play around with it after the course wraps up.

Time Spent / Level of Effort: From my previous Data Science MPP experience, the orientation course is the shortest course and easiest to complete. I completed this course in roughly 3.5 hours.

Course Highlight: The CosmosDB lab was my favorite hands-on work since it was so easy to set up and explore the different options (Document, Graph, and Key-Value), including a side distraction where I branched off to learn more about graph traversal in Gremlin. My favorite video was the “Introduction to Big Data Technologies” where Graeme Malcolm starts with a simple data flow and ends up explaining numerous Azure technologies that comprise this scenario. Big Data MPP


Suggestions: I’ve found that I can watch the videos in playback speed x2 and still understand them very well. I also open the quiz questions in another browser tab prior to watching the videos. As the video content approaches the content of the quiz questions, I slow down the video speed and listen for the quiz topics. This has helped get through the labs with 100% success rate in nearly all my courses.

If you have taken this course in the past or are going through it now, please leave a comment and share your experience.

Sam Lester (MSFT)