Hi, my name is Max Driessen, since November 1st, I joined the Binx team as Chief Cloud Training. In this role, it is my ambition to empower professionals with the right cloud skills by offering the best training programs. I have a background in information technology but lack hands-on programming experience. In my second week at Binx, my colleague Martijn van de Grift— cloud consultant and authorized trainer for both Google Cloud Platform as well as Amazon Web Services— organized a Google Cloud Fundamentals training.
“This is really something for you,” Martijn told me. “This way you not only learn more about Google Cloud, but you also experience what it is like to attend a training.”
I decided to jump right in to experience what it’s like to attend a Binx training first hand. Before I realized it, there I was; attending an online GCP Fundamentals training, with Martijn as the trainer. Obviously, this is a fundamentals training, most of our training courses go way deeper into specific topics, but for me this felt as the gateway to a new world. Although I roughly knew what to expect, this did not make me feel less nervous. But, I had one goal: to learn more about GCP.
Stretching the Comfort Zone
At the start of the training, I felt a bit tense about what was to come. That feeling vanished quickly due to the informal start where every attendee introduced him or herself briefly and shared personal learning goals with the rest of the group. Then it was time to get going. The training was laid out in a logical order. After an initial introduction to the GCP interface, we went under the hood with various functionalities of the platform. Martijn alternated between theory and Q & A. Besides, a substantial part of the training was reserved for breakout sessions where every participant, including myself, could try out the various services with Qwiklabs exercises. These Qwiklabs provide exercises where you follow a step-by-step plan to learn how to use a specific service. What resonated with me was the way the trainer went out of his way to support every individual attendee with the successful completion of the labs. It was obvious from the way that Martijn shared additional information on top of the materials, that he knows his way around Google Cloud like no other. From his experience, Martijn also handed out dozens of practical tips about the right way to implement the services. This resulted in a positive vibe, which also encouraged me to veer outside of my comfort zone further and further.
What Ground Was Covered?
This GCP Fundamentals training introduced me to a broad range of cloud concepts and GCP services. Besides the general introduction, I also learned about Virtual Machines and different types of Storage. Think about topics like cloud storage, SQL, Datastore, Bigtable, Spanner. Of course, containers and Kubernetes were not overlooked. We also took a look at App Engine, Stackdriver and Infrastructure as Code. Finally, there was even some time left to cover the basics of BigQuery and Managed Machine Learning APIs. At the end of the day, it felt like I had just made it through one full week of training. 😉
As mentioned, I had no previous experience of working with cloud platforms. For the first topics this was no problem, but the hands-on labs will be easier to apply in practice for someone who has some software engineering experience. For me personally, that was not the objective of attending this course, I wanted to obtain a global understanding of GCP. That content and experience exceeded my initial goals.
The Most Effective Format
For me it was very valuable that all attendees introduced themselves at the beginning of the training. This made it easier later on to work together and to ask questions. By sharing their individual learning goals beforehand, the trainer was able to personalize the learning experience for everyone. To me, this was a big plus compared to individual online training without a live instructor. I must admit that a full day of online training is very intense. Especially at the end of day, it becomes more difficult to digest all the information. That is why we have chose to offer our online courses in half days by default. This way, it is easier to stay attentive, while it also makes it easier to combine training with other obligations.
I am looking forward to navigating the world of cloud together with you. One of my goals is to regularly recommend specific training topics. As this Google Cloud Fundamental training was my first, let’s start by sharing who I would recommend this training for. I recommend this Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals training to everyone who would like to make a start with GCP. The training offers a broad introduction to the various GCP services and lays the groundwork for official Google Cloud certifications. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me directly by sending me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org