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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Distributed Computing with Spark SQL by University of California, Davis

288 ratings
73 reviews

About the Course

This course is for students with SQL experience and now want to take the next step in gaining familiarity with distributed computing using Spark. Students will gain an understanding of when to use Spark and how Spark as an engine uniquely combines Data and AI technologies at scale. The four modules build on one another and by the end of the course the student will understand: Spark architecture, Spark DataFrame, optimizing reading/writing data, and how to build a machine learning model. The first module will introduce Spark, including how Spark works with distributed computing and what are Spark Dataframes. Module 2 covers the core concepts of Spark such as storage vs. computing, caching, partitions and Spark UI. The third module looks at Engineering Data Pipelines covering connecting to databases, schemas and type, file formats and writing good data. The final module looks at the application of Spark with Machine Learning through the business use case, a short introduction to what machine learning is, building and applying models and a final course conclusion. By understanding when to use Spark, either scaling out when the model or data is too large to process on a single machine, or having a need to simply speed up to get faster results, students will hone their SQL skills and become a more adept Data Scientist....

Top reviews

Jun 9, 2020

I highly recommend this course for anyone in the BI and Data space interested in learning Spark. The course gives an easy to understand to the framework and applicable hands on examples.

May 13, 2020

Amazing course that really cuts through the fundamentals of using distributed computing power to analyze and manipulate data. Well organised structure on fundamentals

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1 - 25 of 73 Reviews for Distributed Computing with Spark SQL

By Steven O

Apr 5, 2020

A more appropriate title for the class would be "a brief introduction to Databricks". Very disappointing class. There are Youtube tutorials out there with more content than this class. This is one of the only classes that I have ever taken on Coursera where I could complete 2 weeks worth of all the lectures, assignments, and quizzes in a Sunday afternoon. I think this class was hastily slapped together, there is so little content. If your organization uses Spark and is not a Databricks client (as mine is), you will learn absolutely nothing here. The lectures are extremely short and devoid of any substance. I am still looking for a good online class in Spark. It certainly is not this one.

By Sacha v W

Feb 19, 2020

very superficial using databricks. The courses misses depth to be of any use. It is more a Databricks commercial. Executing pieces of available course without sufficient practice

By Alex C

May 27, 2020

it was an interesting course in as much as it has got me interested in spark and it was doable. I think it tried to cover too much ground in not enough depth. After completing I have gone off and am doing the datacamp spark courses which are also interesting.

The implementation stuff in databricks was really annoying in that the platform used a ´´ whatever it actually was - i still dont know!!!! i just had to copy and paste it every was never mentioned that it didnt work like sql with [] or that it wasnt a apostrophe or whatever.

The use of jupyter notebooks itself was nice, and the exercises were also nice as a learning exercise, i got a lot out of them by having to actually find out some things and see ah ha thats how it works.

The presenters were very good. I could be critical of a few points but i wont as i am guessing its there first mooc or so, and my personal opinions are irrelevant in my annoyances :-)

All in all a nice course as it has good me interested and actually up and running with spark, so i can see where and how it fits and will look further...

Many thansk!

By Palak S

Jun 6, 2020

I did not like the flow of content explained! I expected a lot from this course but at then end I just have basic idea of queries at the end of the course! Nothing in deep about Spark's core concepts. Also the assignment quiz on queries were very weird and not properly formed! The Week 3 assignmnet was not displaying feedback! It was a really messy course!

By Bryan B

Jul 5, 2020

The first module felt more like a sales pitch for DataBricks than anything else, and the last module was about machine learning, and not distributed computing. So, in my opinion, only 2 of the weeks attempted to focus on distributed computing, but even they failed. The course seemed to focus way more on SQL, and less on Spark and how it works. Sure, there were pieces of information on how to how to change the number of partitions, but how partitions work, or how Spark actually handles distributed computing was lackluster at best. If you have even a rudimentary understanding of data engineering, you should be able to ace this course with minimal effort, but you'll likely not take much away from it. Great course for absolute beginners though.

By George T

Jun 10, 2020

I highly recommend this course for anyone in the BI and Data space interested in learning Spark. The course gives an easy to understand to the framework and applicable hands on examples.

By Elliot T

Jul 13, 2020

Great introduction to Spark with Databricks that seems to be an intuituve tool! Really cool to do the link between SQL and Data Science with a basic ML example!

By Dilin J K J

Feb 11, 2020

This has been an amazing course. What is worth mentioning is how the content was delivered. Nice hands on. Highly recommended for anyone who is new to Spark

By Joseph B

Jan 6, 2020

Extremely informative for those who are seeking to learn the fundamentals for distributed computing using Spark SQL.

By Daniel Y

Sep 9, 2020

very useful

By Zaynul A

Mar 4, 2020

Expecting more advance material

By Noah M

May 10, 2020

A highly polished presentation, however I still feel only a superficial understanding of partitions and other Spark optimisation techniques. In Course 4 of this Specialization, I had to google myself how best to set partition parameters (ie. how to choose a value) which perhaps shouldve been covered in this course.

High-level definitions are given, but not so much in way of actual application to clarify the concepts.

By Daniel J

Sep 30, 2020

While I wish I'd learned a bit of Python before taking this course (to help with troubleshooting in the final module), overall I found the course extremely well put-together and incredibly useful for understanding SQL's role in the larger world of data science. The instructors are easy to follow, and the notebooks in Databricks create great supplements to your course notes. A few of the questions were a little confusing, but overall, I was very glad I took this course.

By Davide C

Dec 12, 2020

Great course for developing further your knowledge of SQL and for a nice introduction to the world of Big Data and parallel computing. Extremely recommended for anyone with a basic-intermediate knowledge of SQL who want to approach Big Data databases and parallel computing on them.

By David Y

Jan 8, 2021

Great high level overview for Spark beginners with focus on application. Course materials are reasonably up to date and well designed. Might be nice if there was a PySpark complement to this course but I understand that it's part of the SQL specialization. Would highly recommend.

By Deepika S

May 20, 2020

This course is a great learning source for Distributed Computing with Spark SQL. I got started with course and learnt basic concepts, dos and don'ts.

Concepts are explained well and work notebooks provided needed hands on experience.

Thanks for the course.


Deepika Sharma

By Serjesh S

May 29, 2020

I wanted to quickly revisit spark sql on Databricks platform after last time using spark (on premise)3 years ago .This course provided perfect refresher to all the important concepts.Module 4 is specifically pleasant and take it little closer to BigQueryML.

By Takashi T

Oct 11, 2020

The course was easy and clear to follow. The assignments and quizzes were easy to complete. Also by checking discussion forum, I can see that both instructors check and provide helps to people who posted the questions. I highly recommend this course.

By Oscar F

Dec 30, 2020

Buen curso. Se demuestra lo íntimamente ligados que están los códigos con el hardware y cómo hacer un mejor uso del hardware disponible usando spark a través de la computación distribuida para hacer más eficientes las consultas. Recomendado.


Jul 27, 2020

Well explained course by the trainers and good assignments set by the trainers. I learnt a lot on spark, its architecture and working, which I can use in my several up coming projects. Thank you for the course!

By Kumar S

May 14, 2020

Amazing course that really cuts through the fundamentals of using distributed computing power to analyze and manipulate data. Well organised structure on fundamentals

By oisin d

Mar 26, 2020

Great course, really well taught and delivered. Only thing I would say is you would really need knowledge of python to really understand this course 100%

By Nilupa R

Nov 1, 2020

I loved engaging in this course. It is concise course that teaches more on spark sql and machine learning capabilities in understandable manner.

By Isaac T

Feb 23, 2020

Great introduction to Spark SQL and ML Flow. I love that they give extra resources if you want to learn more. It was a fun learning journey.

By Metodi S

Nov 14, 2020

This was one of the best courses I've taken on Coursera. It represents a perfect blend of easy to understand Spark, Python and ML.