Academy Breakdown: Cockroach University

January 14, 2021

Today we’ll be taking a look at the Cockroach University by Cockroach Labs.

Cockroach Labs builds CockroachDB - “the most highly evolved database on the planet.”

Cockroach Labs Landing Page

What is Cockroach University?

Cockroach University is free online platform (academy) that teaches you about SQL, databases, CockroachDB, and more. It’s created and taught by an in-house education team.

At the time of writing they’ve got two courses:

  • “Getting Started” - Learn to setup, use, and interact with CockroachDB.
  • “Course 2: For Python Developers” - Walkthrough on building a full-stack app using Python, SQLAlchemy, and CockroachDB.

Cockroach University Landing Page

How does Cockroach University Fit In?

Cockroach Labs has made Cockroach University pretty obvious in their website.

First and foremost, they focus on the product but they make the university obvious to developers - it lives right alongside the link to the docs.

How Cockroach University is presented on landing page

I like the way it progresses in the menu - quickly get started, general resource, and then for those who really what to learn about the product and company you’ve got a dedicated column for that.

The Landing Page

Let’s take a deeper look at the Cockroach University landing page.

Cockroach University Landing Page

Cockroach University Landing Page Part 2

It’s super straightforward.

You see you can take a free course, what the available courses are, and what you get in return for completing a course.

Taking a Course

Inside a course

Once you’ve started the (free) course you can see it’s simple and highly focused. Their focus is on video content with periodic quizzes to check your knowledge.

The lessons are broken up into short sub-5 minute videos.

Short lessons allow a user to quickly consume content without having to remember where they were. It also gives you the ability to create highly focused quizzes.

Teach one thing per lesson.

Each lesson is captioned (remember accessibility) and the script they use is provided.

They also include:

  • A summary of the lesson
  • Helpful links
  • Code samples

Course lesson resources

You can also see on the right hand side a table of contents.

If you’ve ever read a book or taken a course you know how valuable it is to know what your current status is.

Completing a Course

I really like what CockroachDB has done here.

First off, regardless of which course you take, upon successfully taking the final exam you get an industry-recognized certificate. A great thing to add to LinkedIn/resume.

To make it even more fun they give you a physical item upon passing a course:

  • Getting Started - Goodie bag filled with swag
  • For Python Developers - Entered to win a custom Cockroach Labs backpack

So after taking one of their course you’ve got knowledge, a certificate, and some swag. This nicely gets them involved and invested in the product!

Once you’ve completed the final exam developers have a few paths to go down:

  • Further resources - You don’t want to leave a prospective customer hanging! Show them the next steps to take.
  • Survey - This developer just invested a lot of time into learning. Ask them what they liked and didn’t like.

Summary

  • Cockroach University also posted their Getting Started course on YouTube - nice content discovery option there.
  • After creating an account they invite you to join their Slack community. This nicely builds their community and shows that support is available for their users.