Spark Camp

Paco Nathan (, Hossein Falaki (Databricks Inc.), Aaron Davidson (Databricks), Sameer Farooqui (Databricks), Alex Sicoe (Elsevier), Olivier Girardot (Lateral Thoughts)
Hadoop & Beyond
Location: 211
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 30 ratings)


Spark Camp, organized by the creators of the Apache Spark project at Databricks, will be a day long hands-on introduction to the Spark platform including Spark Core, the Spark Shell, Spark Streaming, Spark SQL, MLlib, and more. We will start with an overview of use cases and demonstrate writing simple Spark applications. We will cover each of the main components of the Spark stack via a series of technical talks targeted at developers that are new to Spark. Intermixed with the talks will be periods of hands-on lab work. Attendees will download and use Spark on their own laptops, as well as learn how to configure and deploy Spark in distributed big data environments including common Hadoop distributions and Mesos.

Developer Certification for Apache Spark
O’Reilly has partnered with Databricks, creators of Spark, to offer the Developer Certification for Apache Spark. The first Spark certification exam takes place at Strata + Hadooop World in Barcelona on Thursday, 20 November. Learn more.

Photo of Paco Nathan

Paco Nathan

Paco Nathan is known as a “player/coach” with core expertise in data science, natural language processing, machine learning, and cloud computing. He has 35+ years of experience in the tech industry, at companies ranging from Bell Labs to early-stage startups. His recent roles include director of the Learning Group at O’Reilly and director of community evangelism at Databricks and Apache Spark. Paco is the cochair of Rev conference and an advisor for Amplify Partners, Deep Learning Analytics, Recognai, and Primer. He was named one of the "top 30 people in big data and analytics" in 2015 by Innovation Enterprise.

Photo of Hossein Falaki

Hossein Falaki

Databricks Inc.

Hossein Falaki is a software engineer at Databricks working on the next big thing. Prior to that he was a data scientist at Apple’s personal assistant, Siri. He graduated with Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, where he was a member of the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS).

Aaron Davidson


Aaron Davidson is an Apache Spark committer and software engineer at Databricks. He has implemented Spark standalone cluster fault tolerance and shuffle file consolidation, and has helped in the design, implementation, and testing of Spark’s external sorting and driver fault tolerance.

Photo of Sameer Farooqui

Sameer Farooqui


Sameer Farooqui is a client services engineer at Databricks, where he works with customers on Apache Spark deployments. Sameer works with the Hadoop ecosystem, Cassandra, Couchbase, and general NoSQL domain. Prior to Databricks, he worked as a freelance big data consultant and trainer globally and taught big data courses. Before that, Sameer was a systems architect at Hortonworks, an emerging data platforms consultant at Accenture R&D, and an enterprise consultant for Symantec/Veritas (specializing in VCS, VVR, and SF-HA).

Photo of Alex Sicoe

Alex Sicoe


Alex Sicoe recently joined Elsevier as a software developer within the company’s big data analytics platform team. Previously he worked as an engineer with Big Data Partnership
working with clients on projects involving Apache Spark, Apache Cassandra, Apache Storm, Apache Hadoop. He has extensive experience building data pipelines involving such systems as well as giving training courses on them. He also worked at CERN on building a large scale monitoring system for the ATLAS experiment on top of Apache Cassandra.

Photo of Olivier Girardot

Olivier Girardot

Lateral Thoughts

Olivier Girardot is a software engineer and co-founder of Lateral Thoughts working on Machine Learning, Big Data and DevOps solutions with clients to help them tackle problems that require both expertise and experience. In order to become more efficient both as a company and as a team.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Nikos Dimitrakopoulos
19-11-2014 15:38 CET

Any chance for a schedule?

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Paco Nathan
19-11-2014 15:24 CET

Great question Prasanna -

Our training materials are online at

Prasanna Pandian
19-11-2014 14:53 CET

Hello, I’m attending a different session today in this conference. Though interested in this topic too. Can you please point to the link where I can get the course material you are using for this session.Thanks in advance.

Deepak Subhramanian
17-11-2014 22:38 CET

Thanks Paco. It would have been better if the session was designed to two separate sessions one beginners and one advanced instead of making an intermediate developer to sit through the full day session and

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Paco Nathan
16-11-2014 18:52 CET

Good question Deepak -

This is intended to be very similar to the related training sessions held at Spark Summit conferences. However, the material is updated and much has changed in the past five months.

Deepak Subhramanian
16-11-2014 17:56 CET

It will be good to know the topics covered in Spark Camp. Is there any sessions advanced or different from the one covered in the spark summit training. ?

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Paco Nathan
12-11-2014 14:25 CET

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc., should work fine.

There’s a third-party vendor that hosts the exams, and apparently their IT is stuck back in the 1990s. Hence the unfortunate blurb about Internet Explorer as a requirement :) It’s not true.

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Hajkan Jonsson
12-11-2014 10:59 CET

Hi Paco,

Thanks for making certification possible at Strata. One problem though: In the email confirmation it says Internet Explorer is Mandatory tohave installed on your laptop to take the exam. Is this really correct? Sounds archaic to me.

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Paco Nathan
11-11-2014 19:11 CET

Thanks for the reminder Enzo :)


Some experience coding in Python, Java, or Scala, plus some familiarity with Big Data issues/concepts.

What’s required for a laptop to use in the tutorial?

  • laptop with wifi and browser
  • reasonably current hardware (+2GB)
  • MacOSX, Windows, Linux — all work fine
  • make sure you don’t have corporate security controls that prevent use of network
  • have Java JDK 6/7/8 installed
  • have Python 2.7 installed

NB: do not install Spark with Homebrew or Cygwin

We will provide USB sticks with the necessary data+code. To save time, if people participating in the tutorial want to download in advance, the USB contents are at:

Also: please see the Apache Spark developer certification exam being held at Strata on Thu 20 Nov:

enzo mar
11-11-2014 13:37 CET

Any news on things to download before the event etc.?

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Paco Nathan
5-11-2014 21:40 CET

Several people had asked about Spark certification @ Strata EU. That just opened up:

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Hajkan Jonsson
2-10-2014 17:10 CEST

Hi Paco,
Certification exam in this tutorial may be the deciding factor whether I will go to Strata Barcelona or not. Please keep us updated.

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ermelinda della valle
2-10-2014 12:19 CEST

I wait for more information on this opportunity.

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Paco Nathan
25-09-2014 19:56 CEST

Hi Ermelinda, we are working on the logistics for that, to be able to hold the certification exam at Strata EU in Barcelona. Our first will be at Strata NY a month before. I will personally try to make sure it happens!

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ermelinda della valle
25-09-2014 12:38 CEST

The certification exam?
The certification exam will be offered at Strata Barcelona?

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Paco Nathan
16-09-2014 21:44 CEST

We will have several speakers from Databricks/Apache Spark: Aaron Davidson, Hossein Falaki, Sameer Farooqui, Holden Karau, and me.

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François Garillot
15-09-2014 21:51 CEST

Who is giving the Spark Camp ? Thanks in advance.

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Paco Nathan
8-08-2014 22:24 CEST

The prerequisites for this Spark Camp are essentially to have a laptop with wifi capability (no corp security restrictions) that has Java JDK 6/7/8 installed and a browser, plus some familiarity already with Python, Java, or Scala. Prior familiarity with Hadoop is a plus, but not required. We’ll post an update to the description.

Picture of Marco Lattanzio
Marco Lattanzio
28-07-2014 13:47 CEST

What are the prerequisites to attend the Spark Camp? Thanks