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Back to Cloud Computing Concepts, Part 1

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Cloud Computing Concepts, Part 1 by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1,054 ratings

About the Course

Cloud computing systems today, whether open-source or used inside companies, are built using a common set of core techniques, algorithms, and design philosophies – all centered around distributed systems. Learn about such fundamental distributed computing "concepts" for cloud computing. Some of these concepts include: clouds, MapReduce, key-value/NoSQL stores, classical distributed algorithms, widely-used distributed algorithms, scalability, trending areas, and much, much more! Know how these systems work from the inside out. Get your hands dirty using these concepts with provided homework exercises. In the programming assignments, implement some of these concepts in template code (programs) provided in the C++ programming language. Prior experience with C++ is required. The course also features interviews with leading researchers and managers, from both industry and academia....

Top reviews


Jul 15, 2017

Great course, I would recommend to everyone who wants to understand the basics of cloud computing. The course material is excellent, the instructor Indy is phenomenal and the exams are marvelous.


Oct 6, 2016

This instructor is fantastic. He is exceptionally thorough and his delivery is very good as well. This is a course definitely worth taking if you are interested in learning more about the cloud.

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1 - 25 of 261 Reviews for Cloud Computing Concepts, Part 1

By Stephanie B

Jun 26, 2017

I found the concepts taught in this course interesting, but the lectures were far too fast paced (it takes twice the time to get through them if you actually want to get notes down as you will need to pause continuously). I also thought that the programming assignment was far, far too advanced seeing many people who take this course may not be familiar with C++ or programming in general. Even with my background being computer engineering, I found it challenging and spent much more time on it than the time suggested by the syllabus. Lastly, the homework was a major step up from lectures seeing there were minimal examples given in the lectures. Overall, the assessment was so ordinary that I would probably recommend not paying for this course. I kind of wish I could still get my money back.

If you want to do this course properly, double the time it tells you it will take for each part of it. You'll need to. If you're working full time and just looking for a hobby course, don't do this one. Or do it across two sessions, instead of trying to get it done in the 5 weeks. Don't do it if you want to learn how to use cloud computing - only if you want to research in cloud computing or need to know how it works under the hood.

This course would benefit from a slower pace and more detailed examples. I feel that everything was rushed and minimal guidance was given, which made the course not particularly enjoyable for me. Without some background in computer science, I think this would be a real struggle to get through at all.

Sorry for the lengthy review, I hope it helps someone decide whether this course is really for them.

By Ehsan M

Apr 25, 2018

The educational material do not meet the expected quality, as of many other courses. The instructor speaks too fast, with a lot of technical jargon in between each sentence, but does not interact with the user by annotating the slides. So, I had to keep moving my eyes around (reading compact text, or complex graphs) to try to make a connection between his words, and which part of slides he is speaking about.

Furthermore, I have excellent Python and Fortran and CUDA background, but not C++, so, I cannot do the final exam. I am gonna drop out of this course.

By Jason N

Jul 11, 2017

The programming assignment is very old style C code/C++ not using any of the updated/newer syntax. It required spending more time relearning old coding conventions than actually implementing the algorithms and such. Was very frustrating. The material and course overall is great, save that assignment, which is required to pass.

By Craig K

Jun 7, 2019

My experience with this course was mostly positive. The lectures were helpful and fairly brief compared to a standard university class. The instructor provides good examples and the presentation slides are a good study guide. FWIW, the workload for this course is much less than a graduate level CS course (at least in my experience).

The negatives about this class: The homework/quiz assignments often asked you to solve a scenario more complicated than anything discussed in lecture, and there's no book to go read to get a better understanding. This made for an unnecessarily frustrating quiz process. Other reviewers have already criticized the programming assignment, and I concur with most of the complaints. You end up wasting too much time working on things other than learning content related to the course.

By Dave P

Oct 6, 2016

This instructor is fantastic. He is exceptionally thorough and his delivery is very good as well. This is a course definitely worth taking if you are interested in learning more about the cloud.

By Satya P M

Jul 30, 2017

Felt like the assignments were too good for what was covered. We have to Google outside the course material to understand many concepts. But loved the fact that we got chance to try some hands on. That clarified a lot about Gossip style protocol. But the contents in the course about Chandy-Lamport algorithm needs SURE restructuring. It is NOT AT ALL adequate to answer the assignments. I request professor, Coursera to have a second look at these topics.

By Tarun B

Dec 19, 2016

Not very engaging. Information overflow and poorly delivered lectures where the instructor is just reading from slides. I don't recommend paying for this, it is better to just check out the syllabus and read about this stuff online.

Note to instructor: Very simple concepts were explained using overly complicated language. Also, please refrain from over using the word 'essentially'.

By Oren E

Jul 30, 2019

I thought the class was quite good. Dr. Gupta is very knowledgeable about the subject and presents the material well.

This is listed as a beginner level class. I think it is worth noting that this could only be considered as beginner for people that already have a decent background in computer science. People not familiar with algorithm will likely sind themselves somewhat challenged.

One suggestion:

The quizzes are quite difficult, which is fine, however the only feedback you get is pass/fail. To give the student a better understanding of the material, it may be helpful to have a one or two question quiz after each lecture. These should be of the complexity that is expected on the exam (as compared to the in-lecture questions which are quite easy). For these mini-quizzes, solutions with explanations could be provided.

Lastly, the programming project is in C/C++. Many people seem to be complaining about why this isn't in a different language. Perhaps more of an explanation for the language choice is in order. (e.g. it wouldn't really make sense to implement distributed processing algorithms in Java due to the speed requirement.) C/C++ is listed as a prerequisite, so if you don't have this in your background, you should be prepared to spend some time learning at least the minimum, particularly use of pointers and pointer arithmetic.

By Wojciech K

Feb 27, 2018

This is a great course with a good balance of just theory and concepts, with practical ideas and exercises. The programming exercise can be a bit annoying, but was enjoyable nonetheless.

By samir s

Aug 6, 2017

The instructor seems to be in a hurry to get over the course and the course should rather be called a theoretical introduction to concepts in distributed computing. The slides are confusing with no animation. The programming assignment statement is just vague. Wouldn't recommend folks to pay and attend this. This may at best be for audit.

By Mona L

Oct 11, 2016

The instructor's lecture sounded too robotic and I feel like he didn't make any effort to explain some of the principles or simplify the course to the audience. It feels like he just copied concepts and pasted them into the lecture and then read them quick.

By Vinh T

Aug 22, 2016

Very useful course. It built my Cloud Computing basis from scratch. Fisrt course gives me the enthusiasm to start the later ones. A good place for studying and sharing with course mates. Thank you!

By Bruno M

Feb 1, 2019

Having to do the coding assignment in c++ is kind of bad :/


Apr 28, 2020

I think the lecturer should not just "reading" the PPT. And the subtitle should not contain those words representing lecturer's sound ( e.g. uh).

By Carmine L

Jul 25, 2017

The lessons are a bit boring, an interactive blackboard or animated examples could help.

By Hetkumar D

Jan 19, 2020

This course not good for me.

By Bhuvan A

Jul 6, 2020

Was looking for MOOC to start learning about Distributed Systems/Cloud Computing. After completing this course and going through the readings suggested, feel its a good start and i got an insight into the foundation concepts/primitives that make distributed systems work. Highly recommend this course!

By Miklós A R

Jul 16, 2017

Great course, I would recommend to everyone who wants to understand the basics of cloud computing. The course material is excellent, the instructor Indy is phenomenal and the exams are marvelous.

By Vavilala D R

Dec 30, 2017

very happy with the course. got to know new concepts. assignments are awesome. enjoyed working on them. enjoyed the course. it would be good if we get a color and original certificate.

By Luca P

Aug 27, 2020

Very interesting courses and topics. The course has nothing to envy to normal university courses and it is indeed a university course (from the online CS degree from U of I). I am really glad that this material is available to the public. Few points on which the course can be improved:

* On the slides there are different notations and formats that are used. Making all of them uniform would help better in the understanding of the contents.

* When providing topics and algorithm, please also provide also actual examples and explanation of what kind of problems we are trying to solve. For example it is not clear what problem we are trying to solve with the Multicast Problem, since some time ordering algorithm seems more appropriate.

* The code in the programming assignment is terrible. It needs a serious review. It is supposed to be C++ code, but in reality it uses many of the C-style programming paradigm that are very outdated. Also all the creation/handling of raw pointers are completely wrong, many times a simple reference could be used. Encoding messages have never been more complicated, like JSON or BER encoding never existed. You should thrive for improving the code quality so that students can have a good example of a very well written code.

By Anton M

Jun 7, 2020

It's hard to love this course. It deserves 3 stars, but as truly unique which gives you some in-depth understanding of how does cloud computing works underhood, I'm giving it 4 stars.


-> Unique content about cloud computing internals

-> Really hard programming assignment. It includes local grader, so you're not that blind in how you work is graded on coursera side. It's a good way to use this grader to mark you progress.

-> Broad coverage of topics


-> The programming assignment. It's not that hard as an exercise itself to learn gossip protocol, but the cumbersome C++ code written in C style can get you nuts. There are only one assignment about one particular topic, presumably to be done across all 5 weeks step by step. I did it at second week and once completed, i was pushed myself to complete the course after, I would prefer to have small medium difficulty exercises on each week subject.

-> Explanations and proofs. Some topics are poorly covered, most of the time you'll hear only sketch or overview of proof without going into details. Many times lector just say something like "you can figure this out by yourself". Only pseduo code will be shown (except Hadoop examples copy-pasted from official docs)

By Shereen H

Oct 21, 2016

The course introduces many cloud computing concepts, and briefly highlights the trending technologies. It is a good starting point for the beginners, it also contains a set of challenging quizzes and final exam, one could not pass unless s/he masters the course contents. finally there is the programming assignment which would not sound easy until you pass it.

By Ajith K B

Feb 6, 2018

The course provided a good overview on various topics at sufficient depth. The assignments and quizzes were challenging enough allowing one to understand the concepts in good detail.

By Deepti S

Mar 1, 2019

Seems a bit difficult in the beginning, especially if there is a long break from academics but a thorough and in depth course

By Alexey P

Apr 29, 2018

The topics and lectures are pretty good. Some of homework in my opinion is too time consuming, especially week4-5.