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Reviews of LinkedIn Learning Videos
Tuesday 13, April 2021   |   Post link

Technology moves at a rapid pace. Learning a new concept or technoology is not enough, you need to keep in touch with the incremental changes in even areas you already know. LinkedIn Learning videos are really great at getting you up to speed with various technoology topics.

I usually try to go through at least two videos a month. I've come across some really great videos and some which in my opinion could be restructured and improved. I will be recording reviews of videos as and when I go through them.

What makes a great video?

I'll put down my thought about what makes a great video:

  • If you are picking up a topic, explain it in such a way that one need not jump to another video or blog post to understand the topic
  • Many topics include workflows. When using a workflow diagram or a state transition diagram, use animations to highlight that part of the workflow which is being discussed
  • For programming topics, definitely show the main snippets of code that is being discussed
  • A thing or a concept is often referred to by more than one term, mention all of them
  • Software development has come a long way - client-server, 3-tier, SOA, microservices and what not. Explain how things 'used to be' because many-a-times they 'still are' even when explaining newer topics
  • Explain the 'why'. Its good to know how something works but everything starts to make a lot more sense when you know 'why' it works the way it does
  • Provide alternate implementations or products when discussing a topic. For example when talking about service meshes how about mentioned not just Istio but also Consul etc?

Now for the reviews

Microservices: Security - by Kevin Bowersox

Content

The tutorial is a fair introduction to securing your microservices. It introduces to a lot of concepts which you may not have been exposed to before if you have't used microservices in production or web development. It starts with the basics - what is security - confidentiality, integrity and availablity.

The author discusses authentication vs. authorization next. He then compares monolithic application vs. microservices in terms of security. He them moves on to more specific topics like identity service, OAUTH, OpenID Connect and API Gateways - this whole section is the weakest link in my opinion. Each of these topics requires considerable elaboration for anyone to understand and retain the concepts, unfortunately these topics are only glossed over. Using software specific examples instead of hotel-keycard type of examples sometimes explain concepts better and I think this is the case here.

The next secion covers securing communication between microservices. The information provided is at a high level, it covers Mutual TLS, token relaying, token swtiching, monitoring, logging, service and meshes. It would have been great if the author would suggest a few libraries, frameworks which are widely used in the market.

The final section covers container security. Again, this is a vast topic so the information provided is at a high level. The author disucsses topics like throttling, container runtime security, image security, secret management and securing the CICD pipeline.

Verdict

And finally, should you invest 1:49 minutes watching it? Yes and no. Watch it as a refresher on high level concepts. If you are new to microservices or web security, I recommend you first watch a few other videos which teach microservices and web security. Familiarity with SAML or OAUTH is essential. I would also recommend you implement a few microservices in your favorite language so you can appreciate the points the author discusses.


Amazon Web Services Machine Learning Essential Training - by Lynn Langit

Content

This is not an "in-depth" learning video but an introduction to various data analytics services that Amazon offer. In this respect, its covers the services quite well.

The first part introduces the main concepts - data sources like files, databases. It then moves on the process part - business vs predictive analytics, batching, streaming, data cleansing and visualization. Note, the topics are covered at a very high level but still a great introduction to those new to data science as a subject.

The next secion covers various AWS services dealing with analytics. Athena, querying DynamoDB, using Kinesis, Cloud Search, Elastic, EMR, RDS, Redshift are introduced. Again, its a very high level discussion of these topics which I found to be useful as I don't use some of these at all in my area of work while some I use almost every day.

The third section deals with using the AWS CLI and the AWS SDK. Those faimilar with these topics won't find anything useful except for maybe Cloud 9. Cloud 9 - IAS - IDE as a Service! Cloud 9 looks quite promising. It will be interesting to see how it matures. It will be even more interesting to see how Visual Studio Online (Codespaces) competes with it.

The fourth and last part talks about AWS Glue, QuickSight, third party offerings and public datasets. The coverage of AWS Glue is quite good.

Verdict

Is it worth investing 3 hours 7 minutes of your life on this worth it? Like most times, it depends, if you are looking for gaining in-depth knowledge of any of the topics discussed in this tutorial look elsewhere. However, if you are trying to understand the overall landscape of data analytic tools offered by AWS, this is an excellent training.



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