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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Big Data Analysis with Scala and Spark by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

2,082 ratings
418 reviews

About the Course

Manipulating big data distributed over a cluster using functional concepts is rampant in industry, and is arguably one of the first widespread industrial uses of functional ideas. This is evidenced by the popularity of MapReduce and Hadoop, and most recently Apache Spark, a fast, in-memory distributed collections framework written in Scala. In this course, we'll see how the data parallel paradigm can be extended to the distributed case, using Spark throughout. We'll cover Spark's programming model in detail, being careful to understand how and when it differs from familiar programming models, like shared-memory parallel collections or sequential Scala collections. Through hands-on examples in Spark and Scala, we'll learn when important issues related to distribution like latency and network communication should be considered and how they can be addressed effectively for improved performance. Learning Outcomes. By the end of this course you will be able to: - read data from persistent storage and load it into Apache Spark, - manipulate data with Spark and Scala, - express algorithms for data analysis in a functional style, - recognize how to avoid shuffles and recomputation in Spark, Recommended background: You should have at least one year programming experience. Proficiency with Java or C# is ideal, but experience with other languages such as C/C++, Python, Javascript or Ruby is also sufficient. You should have some familiarity using the command line. This course is intended to be taken after Parallel Programming:

Top reviews


Jun 08, 2017

The sessions where clearly explained and focused. Some of the exercises contained slightly confusing hints and information, but I'm sure those mistakes will be ironed out in future iterations. Thanks!


Apr 10, 2017

Great introduction to spark. Fun assignments. Since it was the first ever session, there were quite a few kinks with the assignments. But the discussion forums rescued me any time I was stuck.

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101 - 125 of 402 Reviews for Big Data Analysis with Scala and Spark

By Varun R

Sep 22, 2017

Greate course to get an overview of Spark. Heather's teaching style is awesome. Her style really helps to connect the dots. Explains a lot on 'why' along with 'how'. To get full benefit, do as a continuation of other scala courses in the specialization. It would have been nice if there was a gentle intro to other areas like ML and Streaming. Great course.

By Ubaldo P

Apr 10, 2017

It is a course well organized, full of useful notions e with good assignments to assess your progress in learning stuff.

By Peter T

Apr 07, 2017

Enjoyed the course and learnt lots. Stimulating material. Though I feel that the week 4 material could be made more concise. On the whole would recommend to other interested and it will definitely help in my career.

By Tomasz J

Apr 09, 2017

Great, short course, which gives great insight into Spark and ad-hoc data processing on Hadoop-ish clusters.

By Konstantin K

Apr 12, 2017

good stuff, compared to the other similar course in PySpark this one gave me a lot more understanding of how things work in Spark on the low level

By Hristo I

Apr 09, 2017

This is a great course on the intricacies of Apache Spark. It is not a general Big Data course, neither is it an easy one. Doing the programming assignments properly requires reading a lot trough the Spark documentation, which I personally liked as part of the challenge, but beware if you are not that type of person or aim at finishing the course as quickly as possible.

By Roberto S

Jul 04, 2017

Quite advanced; links seamlessly with the previous courses in the specialization. Very rewarding.

By Guixin Z

Apr 05, 2017

very nice material and organized very well. still amazed what spark can do with the data.

By Art P

Mar 10, 2018

Thank you! Some additional examples would be appreciable.

By Ignacio A

Apr 17, 2017

This course is a great introduction to Spark. The only thing I think could be improved is that each programming assignments has unit tests that drive students towards the final solution. I saw lots of people complaining in the forums about this slow and tedious back and forth of having the grader testing their code.

By Kolja M

Mar 25, 2018

Very nice in depth learnings. The teacher is very good and keeps the lessons short but still meaningful.

By Fernando R

Oct 28, 2017

it was a super interesting course

By Ananda P V

Aug 31, 2017

excellent introduction to Spark. I was always looking for some course which touches the underlying functional aspect of Spark then just showing syntactic values. Moreover this course also teaches how parallelism and distributed process works with Spark. You also get an idea why Spark is written in Scala.

By Manuel M C

Mar 23, 2017

Great course, keep up the good work.

By Andreas K

Jul 26, 2017

It was a pleasure to follow the video lectures and solve the assignments.

By Jayaprakash

Apr 09, 2017

Great Material and lecture videos. It covered important concepts we need to know about Spark and helped me to learn further. Assignments were on real datasets and helped me to explore different APIs if Spark and Scala.

By Peter S

Apr 02, 2017

Another fun Scala course!

By Jakub T m G

Jun 27, 2017

good introduction into Spark

By Hessam S M

Mar 25, 2018

Excellent course. I had some knowledge about Spark before but this course helped me to leverage my skills from pure theory to something practical. Now I have the confidence I can use spark to solve real life problems. This specialization as a whole is totally changing my career prospect. Thank you EPFL, Dr. Miller and Coursera for providing such opportunity for me.

By Gary Z

Apr 10, 2017

Best Spark Scala course! Clear explanation! Thanks Dr. Heather

By Giuliano C

Jul 02, 2017

Excellent course, my only suggestion would be to split week 4 into 2 weeks

By Pushkin G

May 06, 2018

Very useful lessons. Great way to get started on Spark.

By abdhesh

Dec 31, 2017

It was an awesome and well explained course.

By kevin n

Jun 26, 2017

Great course. Thanks!

By Cisco D

May 06, 2018

Accurate content and good explanations. I have got fun with this course