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

459 ratings
109 reviews

About the Course

This course is all about big data. It’s for students with SQL experience that want to take the next step on their data journey by learning distributed computing using Apache Spark. Students will gain a thorough understanding of this open-source standard for working with large datasets. Students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of data analysis using SQL on Spark, setting the foundation for how to combine data with advanced analytics at scale and in production environments. The four modules build on one another and by the end of the course you will understand: the Spark architecture, queries within Spark, common ways to optimize Spark SQL, and how to build reliable data pipelines. The first module introduces Spark and the Databricks environment including how Spark distributes computation and Spark SQL. Module 2 covers the core concepts of Spark such as storage vs. compute, caching, partitions, and troubleshooting performance issues via the Spark UI. It also covers new features in Apache Spark 3.x such as Adaptive Query Execution. The third module focuses on Engineering Data Pipelines including connecting to databases, schemas and data types, file formats, and writing reliable data. The final module covers data lakes, data warehouses, and lakehouses. Students build production grade data pipelines by combining Spark with the open-source project Delta Lake. By the end of this course, students will hone their SQL and distributed computing skills to become more adept at advanced analysis and to set the stage for transitioning to more advanced analytics as Data Scientists....

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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76 - 100 of 112 Reviews for Distributed Computing with Spark SQL

By Joanna M

Jun 21, 2021

Overall a lot of knowledge and an interesting course. I was disappointed that the last part focused more on Machine Learning instead of on databases, data lakes etc. as I feel this would be more relevant to the specialization.

I did not like the assignment as they were not demanding enough. Majority of the code was written for us, it did not require us to analyze the code more to actually understand what we are doing and learn it.

By Kota M

Apr 29, 2020

Very great introduction to the Spark SQL and databricks environment worked perfectly as a hands-on.

It would be great if the course covers the Spark ML applications. We used sklearn in the course and utilized a trained model by using the user-defined function. I wonder how it compares with the case where we use Sp ark ML for the training as well.

By Carolyn O

Feb 7, 2021

The course was a struggle. I didn't take calculus or trigonometry. So, the square root means was a bit over my head. It was nice that the machine learning queries were already in the assignments. However, it would have been helpful to explain them better. Then I would be able to understand why they are written a specific way and how to read them.

By Hitesh G

May 10, 2020

Positives - Just having SQL knowledge got me to learn how the large data can be processed using SPARKSQL. I had a great time getting hands-on experience for spark SQL notebook.

Negative- I just wish the videos are too paced as there was a lot of information to cover in all the videos.

By Laura M D V

Aug 4, 2020

It was very helpful to me.

I would improve the assignments' design. Sometimes it felt like something was missing and not very clear, at least not as it is in the real world. And I loved Brooke's way of teaching.

By Sumita P

Mar 31, 2022

Everything was taught in a way it was easy to understand for a Layman. Practise workbook in Databricks gave lot of hands on experience. Got to learn about new concepts in easy to understand way.

By Linlin L

Dec 14, 2020

This course provides hands-on experience in using Databricks's Spark. I learned a lot. I recommend people with some SQL experience to take this course for efficient programming skills!

By Matthew W

Apr 30, 2021

It was a quick and challenging overview, but I thought it was well presented as a basic introduction to Apache Spark

By Ashok k

Feb 13, 2021

Good course. Maybe little more details on how Spark works, Spark architecture would make the story complete

By Praneeth P

May 22, 2020

A good way to get started with Spark SQL. You might need some knowledge of SQL to get started with.

By Prajnita S

Jan 28, 2021

There should have been more assignments for practicing. Overall the course was structured good!

By Nick C

Oct 4, 2020

Pretty good. The exercises were good. I would have liked more of them.

By Wai K C

Jun 28, 2021

Will be better if more practise and examples of Spark SQL is given

By Snorri B A

Jul 15, 2021

V​ery informative course that increased my knowledge of SQL

By Truong T T H

Jul 6, 2020

It is a good course. I have learned a lot about Spark.

By Michael S

Apr 25, 2021

Good introduction but assignments are too guided.

By Gustavo M L A

Nov 16, 2020

Liked the practical part and the instructors.


Apr 11, 2022

N​ote book for the last week is missing!

By Tuyên Đ

Nov 3, 2020

good for spark-ml, bigdata beginer

By Leonardo S

Jan 7, 2022

I found it very interesting.

By Dr. H K A

Apr 13, 2020

Happy to attend this course.

By Anthony J V H

Sep 9, 2021

Muy buen curso

By Gabriel J N P

Feb 6, 2022


By Colleen

Dec 21, 2020

This course was a good introduction to Spark SQL, but they tried to cram too much into one course and ended up not being very clear about most of the material. This could be broken down into a specialization and it would be more effective. I got through by Googling a lot, and I already have a background in Machine Learning, but for someone new to the material it would be overwhelming. I wish they'd explained things like how parallelization works more effectively instead of rushing through too much material. The instructors clearly know their stuff, but they need to work on breaking these concepts down for people who don't have much experience in computer science.

By Allyson D d L

Dec 5, 2021

I was disappointed because I still don't know how to insall Spark in my PC. I tried to install but it doesn't work. So I think it would be better if we could learn how to use Spark without Databricks. And the content is too superficial.