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

2,011 ratings
406 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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176 - 200 of 390 Reviews for Big Data Analysis with Scala and Spark

By Saiteja t

Aug 01, 2018

Nice session

By manuel B L

Jul 22, 2018

Muy bueno, Excelente. Todos los conocimientos obtenidos me serán de mucha ayuda en mi camino hacia el mundo de Big Data

By Cliff R

Jul 22, 2018

Gives a good grounding in the fundamentals of Spark

By Carlos S

Jan 23, 2018

Very good !! ... Thanks Heather Miller for such cool class !! (Y) <3


Apr 09, 2017

This course is a nice guided way to get started with Apache Spark! I wish I took this course earlier when i was using Spark at my previous company. It would've come in handy. Plenty of great content and the course exercises supply good practice.

By Gary Z

Apr 10, 2017

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

By Max Z

Mar 04, 2018

Excellent. I learned a lot from this course, even though I did not know much about scala. Strongly recommended this course

By Henoc M

Mar 26, 2017

Awesome course

By Pavel T

Apr 06, 2017

Very interesting course. Heather presents at just right level of abstraction to my taste and her presentation is very lively so it is easy to stay focused.

Formally, this is a course on a particular set of software tools and many such courses are not very useful unless one is to start applying learned skills immdeiately because the material starts getting obsolete the day the course is passed.

I believe that this course, however, teaches important priniples that outlive the particular toolkit, in particular the art of reasoning about algorithms on distributed collections, in particular, their performance. One would expect this to be a complex subject but somehow this course makes it feel simple -- which is a good indicator of high quality.

By Shashishekhar D

Jan 06, 2018

Simple, Easy to understand. The course has helped me a lot to understand the concepts.

By Zhu L

Aug 11, 2017

An introductory course to spark programming, lectures are well-balanced between theory and boier-plate codes, but programming assignments are mainly about teaching you the APIs. The problem-solving part is basically trivial, whereas most of the time were spent on searching for API documents and correcting compiler errors and runtime exceptions.

By Martin A

May 03, 2017

Great course, good intro into Spark.

By Mykola S

Jun 30, 2017

Great course with nice explanations of some Spark concepts. The third week was particularly useful for my understanding of Spark shuffling and partitioning. Thanks a lot!

By Adel F

Jan 08, 2018

Course is solid, useful concepts are thought. Assignments are interesting.

Points for improvement:

I wish this course was 2-3 courses focusing on topic with more assignments. If a concept is reviewed by the student is not challenged with tough questions the concept is not learned. People taking this course are already advanced enough to tackle difficult challenges, sometimes it appears that instructor assumes that students are entry level.

A note for online instructors: avoid jokes. They do not work online.

I think a specialization on applications of spark with scala covering AI, graph and text processing would be interesting. Overall thanks for the effort; pretty good.

By Dinesh A G

Apr 02, 2017

good course on spark.

By Piotr A

Mar 16, 2017

Great course. Very informative. I have learned a lot. Lessons are very well prepared and structured. Implementation tasks are interesting. Thanks to all EPFL team. Great job!

By Denis A Z Q

Aug 27, 2017

Course with excellent content, methodology and teacher. It was an extraordinary learning experience

By Dario G

Sep 08, 2017

Lovely presentation of Apache Spark fundamentals using Scala. I believe that this course gives you enough background to do just about anything you want (as long as you have some familiar with Scala and SQL, and are willing to dig deeper).

By Apostolos N P

Mar 15, 2017

I really enjoyed this course! First of all I would like to congratulate the people behind this effort. The videos are clear, to the point and they contain very useful information and tips that are very difficult to get from a book. I hope that you will continue with a second course on Spark and Scala with more advanced topics. Thank you very much.

By Jijo T

Apr 13, 2017

It was well worth the wait! The instructor was good. Assignments were challenging as well as hands on!

By Alberto C B

Jun 30, 2018

Great introductory course on Spark with Scala. Touched many important things

By Andronik

Jun 15, 2017

Nice introduction into Spark with details about how Spark works internally. This course also talks about when to use RDD/Dataframe/Dataset and performance pitfalls.

By Prachi C

Sep 14, 2017

An excellent explanation of basic concepts of Spark using Scala. We covered the most important topics and ready to deep dive!

By Evaldas M

Apr 08, 2017

great course, finally understand what spark is all about!

By Vishwanath G

Mar 17, 2018

Learnt a lot with this course. Excellent explinations of concepts..