New SAP HANA Course for Developers

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Big Data, mobile, social, and cloud have been called the perfect storm of innovations, revealing unprecedented opportunities but also creating a growing shortage of skilled workers able to implement the new technologies. For example, engineers and IT staff in the United States and Asia-Pacific were in the top ten lists of hardest jobs to fill in 2012. Clearly there is a large and looming knowledge gap that is difficult, if not impossible, to fill using traditional educational methods.

Realizing the efficacy of one-to-many electronic education, academia has responded with a new form of education: massive open online courses (MOOCs). Characterized by large-scale interactive participation and open access through the web, MOOCs offer large groups of students instant access to a wide range of courses they can take wherever they might be. Learning hubs like Coursera, Udacity and Khan Academy are flourishing, as well as MOOCs at major universities including University College London, Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Learn to develop SAP HANA applications

Now SAP is pioneering the use of MOOCs in the business world to help build a critical mass of developers for its real-time data platform SAP HANA. As this platform generates significant interest from the market at-large, SAP has already offered a broad range of e-learning and classroom courses. The company’s first MOOC, entitled “Introduction to Software Development on HANA,” teaches developers how to build applications on the company’s in-memory relational database management system for accelerated application performance. Students gain access to the SAP HANA development environment through the SAP Developer Center where they’ll find the tools and resources they need. Those that successfully complete the course will receive a record of achievement that says they have learned to develop native SAP HANA applications.

Next page: Requirements for course completion

Modeled on MOOCs already successfully offered at Hasso Plattner Institute, a German-based IT engineering university started by SAP’s co-founder, these online courses are able to prepare large numbers of qualified developers in a short timeframe. They are open to anyone, with the target audience being developers, IT professionals with a technical background, and computer science students.

Courses demand student commitment

The openSAP MOOCs transfer best practices in traditional classroom teaching to an online delivery format. During the six-week courses, students are required to attend each 90-minute weekly lecture that includes easily digestible 10 to 20-minute video segments. Students are also required to engage in self-study using slide decks, handouts, and self-tests. Graded weekly assignments must be completed on deadline. These contribute to “points” required for the record of achievement received upon course completion. Online forums encourage student discussions, and there is a final exam.

“The new course in MOOC format is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to get an introduction to SAP HANA and appreciates the flexibility to consume the lectures and do the exercises when and where it is most convenient,” says Dr. Bernd Welz, SVP and Head of Solution and Knowledge Packaging. “To give maximum flexibility, the lectures can also be viewed on a mobile device or offline.

Registration for the first course on SAP HANA native software development opens on April 30. The session begins on May 27. Also available is a pre-course “warm-up” session featuring the fundamental concepts of in-memory data management summarized from a course Hasso Plattner delivered on the topic last year.