Apache Cassandra is always known for its strength and has never been the easiest database platform to learn. As a colleague Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reported last week, a recent survey of over a thousand Cassandra practitioners revealed that the lack of skills remains an obstacle. Specifically, 36 percent of GPs cited lack of skilled staff as the biggest obstacle to the adoption of Cassandra.
DataStax is already running develops workshops, online developer learning and certification programsand claims that 30,000 developers have participated in these events this year alone. Nevertheless, they are launching a more focused training and certification program with system integrators and consulting partners. The new Fast 100 program consists of a pair of structured online courses that combine streamlined recorded content with live “Office Hours” sessions for expert consultation and limited by a certification examination. At launch, the program will have two streams: one is targeted at developers, while the other is targeted at administrators.
The program is free for qualified applicants. The goal is to train practitioners in partnership with consulting organizations, which can be as large as a global systems integrator or one-person store. It came out as a by-product of online workshops that DataStax has conducted, this is a more focused approach to getting practitioners past the certification line. Deloitte Consulting LLP, Expero Inc.and Anant Corp. has already logged in.
While content is being delivered online in this COVID age, this is not just a series of streaming videos that are meant to be watched anytime as needed. Instead, the structure of the course is something of a hybrid – it can be completed in as little as a week, but can be extended up to a month, depending on the availability of students and instructors. As mentioned, availability is limited to those who qualify as bona fide database professionals. As this is a free course, but also requires DataStax to invest resources, potential customers wishing to sign up are being investigated.
Fixed 100 is part of a series of efforts by DataStax to reduce barriers to working with Cassandra. Among them, the release earlier this year of Astra, the managed DataStax Enterprise-managed cloud database service that simplifies operation and setup; Vector, for the application of machine learning for predictable and prescriptive assistance in operation; Stargate, to open access to Cassandra to the wider community of JSON developers; and work with society to define a standard Kubernetes operator.
We still have a few things on our wish list to make Cassandra easier to pick up. Among them, we would like to see more intuitive developer tools and in line with Vector utilizing ML to help administrators, we would like to see similar approaches to help developers optimize schema design and layout. Nevertheless, making certification more accessible is a useful step forward in expanding the talent pool.