Gilt Invites Irish Web Community to Participate in Free Tech Courses

While we often associate the burgeoning ICT sector in Ireland with the big corporate names like Google and Facebook, we must also remember that there is an ecosystem of players ranging from multinationals and startups to consultancy firms and research centres, providing synergies and exchanging skills, knowledge and talent. One such effort is a series of tech courses from premier online fashion retailer the Gilt Groupe, the next of which is an introduction to the Hadoop platform on November 18.

Dr Michael Hausenblas, Chief Data Engineer at MapR Technologies and formerly of DERI, NUI Galway, will give the next free eight-hour course, which is open to the public to attend. Running from 10 AM to 6 PM on the 18th of November at the Clarion IFSC, the course will educate attendees on all major aspects of data processing with Hadoop.

In late August and early September of this year, Gilt offered two eight-hour “Introduction to Scala” sessions, which were taught by their own engineers. Developers from Amazon, Roamware and other companies joined Gilt’s own engineers in learning the fundamentals of the Scala programming language. A similar effort run by Gilt in New York taught the R statistical analysis environment to 60 attendees.

Gilt picked Dublin as the location for its first European software development centre two years ago, and employs 150 people across its Dublin and Limerick locations. We asked Lauri Apple from Gilt what was the motivation for running this series of tech courses in Dublin.

“We’re passionate about the technologies we use, and curious about emerging technologies that might help us innovate faster and better,” said Lauri. “Hadoop is a technology we’re exploring, so we wanted to give our engineers the opportunity to gain some basic skills and also invite others in the Dublin tech community to learn with us. It’s our way of giving back to the community.

“A few months ago we offered a beginners-level course in Scala – the programming language that we’ve been migrating all our services to since 2011. More than 50 non-Gilt engineers signed up for that course and learned fundamental Scala skills from our engineers, in our office.

“Everyone learned something: the attendees learned the fundamentals of one of the most exciting new programming languages around, and our engineers got to brush up on their teaching skills. As it turned out, we hired two of the Scala course attendees – that was a nice bonus effect!”

The course on the 18th November will go through all of the underlying principles for Hadoop (e.g. data locality, schema-on-read), explaining the main Hadoop components (including distributed file systems and MapReduce) and reviewing the Hadoop ecosystem (Hive, HBase, etc.), as well as touching on upcoming projects. Being a practical tutorial, Dr Hausenblas will also lead the audience step-by-step through an end-to-end Hadoop application – from data ingestion to manipulation and serving – following the Lambda architecture.

You can register now for this free course on Hadoop here.

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