Becoming an IBM Cloud Developer, the easy way.

The IBM Cloud, previously know as IBM BlueMix, seems to be getting a lot of press lately. More and more of our commerce customers are asking about Watson and this development platform. The platform has been greatly expanded over the past few years and is now considered a first class cloud development platform. As outlined here, this has turned into $15 Billion of revenue for IBM and seems to be growing each quarter. The IBM Cloud is now ranked in the top 5 cloud platforms by Bob Evans, displacing Google and Oracle and Bob seems to hint it will probably be moving further up the list. It is no coincidence that one of the key elements to this platform is Watson and the cool API’s it brings to the table. I am seeing some amazing integrations being done into existing applications with some of these Watson API’s. But what is more interesting is the full life cycle development a team can do 100% in the cloud.

Cloud+App+Developer+V2+-+Knowledge+Badge

This brings me to what I consider one of the most comprehensive courses I have seen in the IBM Developerworks course library – Cloud Application Developer Certification Preparation V2. Earlier this year I took the BlueMix essentials course and most of it I already knew by playing around in my free BlueMix account. What attracted me to this course was the fact it stated it would take 21 hours and has 176 modules!  I was shocked, thinking, wow, that’s a lot of time and to be honest, I didn’t believe it…

I also thought, well, if its that much content it must be good right? Even though I have several application on BlueMix and have been using it since its inception, I was not disappointed.

This badge hit every single element of learning to code in the IBM Cloud. One of the best online education courses I have seen. With real, practical hands-on labs, you get involved at the lowest levels. Interestingly, however, you don’t even need to be a developer to take this course as most of it is around DevOps.  Setting up your application, cloud foundry, the development environment, publishing changes, source control, security (single sign-on), and even continuous delivery including scaling your applications both vertically and horizontally.

The course is split up into three main parts as outlined here:

Part 1: Create applications on IBM CloudUnderstand cloud service models and benefits, IBM Cloud architecture, and specific capabilities of Bluemix. In this part, you also learn about best practices in cloud application design through the Twelve-factor app methodology and IBM Cloud reference architectures.

Part 2: Enhance cloud applications with services and security
In this part, you learn about different services available from the IBM Bluemix catalog including cognitive, messaging, and data. You learn about steps that you can take to secure your applications, credentials for services, and application data.

Part 3: Apply continuous delivery and use Bluemix to manage cloud apps
Learn how Bluemix supports DevOps for your applications by using Continuous Delivery toolchains. In this last part of the course, you also learn about techniques to monitor applications, manage the scaling of applications, and debug application issues.

The best part is the course is free! Anyone can take this course and learn how to develop applications in one of the best cloud platforms on the planet. I took the course over 3 weeks, on and off, working on it when I could. No pressure or time limits was great and works very well for people with busy schedules. The cool factor is you can actually use Watson in your applications! I would be interested in hearing your opinions on this course and how it has helped you to become an IBM Cloud Developer.

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