Erik Bansleben, Program Development Director at the University of Washington, invited me and several other bloggers to participate in a discussion last Friday on UW’s new certificate program in cloud computing. Aimed at students with programming experience and a basic knowledge of networking, the program covers a range of topics from the economics of cloud computing to big data in the cloud.
I had a mixed impression of the curriculum. It looked a bit heavy on big data, an important cloud use case that would perhaps be better suited to a certificate program of its own. And the curriculum looked a bit light on platform-as-a-service and open source platforms for managing clouds such as OpenStack. Since the program is aimed at programmers, perhaps I’d organize it around the challenges of architecting applications to benefit from cloud computing.
But that is nitpicking. It is certainly important for universities to update course offerings based on current trends. And UW has put together an impressive panel of industry experts to guide the program.
Clearly, it’s difficult to put together a program around cloud computing, since there is so much debate around what constitutes cloud computing. And given that just about every tech firm out there has repositioned its products as cloud offerings, it would seem very difficult to achieve sufficient breath without giving up the opportunity for rigorous depth.
But any interesting new direction in the tech industry would pose such challenges. Indeed, perhaps it is these difficulties that make it worth tackling the topic.
For more information, see the UW website at http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/cloud-computing.html.