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About a month ago (before they took off for their vacation) some of my technology club members asked me if I could conduct some workshops on cloud. Being a lifelong Microsoft man, and something of an Azure expert, I told them that I could conduct series of short workshops (2 to 5 hours) for them and their friends. Now, they are back from their semester break, and I have to begin in 2 weeks.

This will appeal to a number of students as the cloud works with dot net, droid, web and iOS. I am expecting a decent audience (the workshop are has a capacity of 8, and I think it will fill up). These are folks who have never seen any cloud dashboard, AWS or Google or Azure. Further, these are folks who are interested, but have probably never even built a simple app and connected to a database. We are looking at a blank slate folks. Curious but currently without knowledge. So, here is what I am planning.

  1. Overview about Cloud, specifically Azure
  2. Why Azure (or in general, why cloud service versus say a database server)
  3. Cloud Services (data services, web site services)
  4. Virtual Machines (and then reconfiguring them to Active Directory, ADFS and FTP)
  5. Using items from the marketplace to complete a project.
  6. Pricing considerations between cloud providers (Azure, AWS, Google) and conventional solutions (like web hosting, blog hosting providers, VM providers, SQL db providers)

These are things I am planning. I believe many of you are not just educators but work in the industry (similar to what I do, train and work). So, let me know what else I can add/remove here. Also let me know if you have any thoughts about the topic itself. and, if Azure itself is not the right fit, perhaps something else.

If the topic itself is too broad, please leave a comment (before down voting if possible), and I will break up the question into many questions and link them up.

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Here is a short list, of some ideas. You could not teach them all fully in a short time, some you may only introduce, discuss, compare:

  • What is cloud: Just one or more servers on the internet. The advantage is that you don't have to invest in hardware. Cloud is tech marketing speak for “Somebody else's computer”.

  • Cloud provider independence: Look at tools that allow easy migration to other cloud providers, such as docker-ce.

  • Cloud services vs my services on someone else's computer.

  • Gnu/Linux: This OS runs on 490 of the top 500 super computers, the other 10 run UNIX. It is also used by >60% of the web, and most of the internet infrastructure.

  • no-sql databases: such as couchdb, mongodb, et al.

  • no-cloud: The cloud sounds fluffy and distributed, but it is not. Look at fully distributed systems, such as ipfs. ipfs is a bit new, so future looking.

  • Configuration control: such as pupet, ansible, cf-engine. These can be used to deploy software, and keep servers consistent.

  • Focus on what service it provides to the user: A place to ask and answer questions vs a web site.

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  • $\begingroup$ I keep waiting for new answers or suggestions, but I guess, no cloud folks here :P Would mark answer by default (like win by default) a good practice ctrl? $\endgroup$ – Jay Aug 30 '17 at 13:57
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Re too broad: I don't think the question necessarily is, but "Azure" is. I think you could spend an entire 5-hour session just listing Azure services without going into any detail on any of them (and in evidence of that I've been to a two-day MS training course on Azure which only managed to scrape the surface of less than 5% of the available services: it was more a starting point for research back in the office than training. And that was aimed at experienced developers).

IMO pricing considerations should be a small subsection of "Why cloud?". People signing up for a workshop, and especially if it's part of a technology club, expect to be doing hands-on practical training, and (excepting the introduction/overview) for the teaching to be geared towards the specific things they will be putting into practice. They can read price lists at home.

With regards putting into practice, are they going to be working on a project which you define or bringing their own ideas to the table? If the latter, I'm not seeing where exactly you brief them on the right kind of project for the specific services you're going to cover. Or are you intending to choose the two or three data services which are the best fit for the majority of the projects after talking to the participants about what they're trying to build? But then point 3 looks like PAAS and point 4 like IAAS, so maybe they're going to be working on different projects in the different sections?

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    $\begingroup$ Azure is broad. No doubt about that. However, every one must start somewhere. Like with any programming, I want to give them a rundown. For instance, the azure dashboard itself is overwhelming for newcomers. However, if a simple 3 hour session on creating a web service and connecting to it via FTP and putting some 'just coded' basic html files has worked wonders for me in the past. $\endgroup$ – Jay Aug 31 '17 at 8:34
  • $\begingroup$ The first paragraph was a comment, and then I realised that I was extending it into a answer. Perhaps I didn't make the point clear enough: the course isn't going to be Azure because that's too big a topic, so what is it really going to be? $\endgroup$ – Peter Taylor Aug 31 '17 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ thats what I am doing here with the question. gathering thoughts to see if it can help me. I want them to not be overwhelmed. Perhaps, attend successive Azure workshops which will be more fine tuned. And, if enough students show interest, I could allow the workshop to evolve into a full on training course. $\endgroup$ – Jay Aug 31 '17 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ "The blue sky opens out farther and farther..." - Kabir $\endgroup$ – user737 Sep 1 '17 at 13:14

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