In a series of focused, practical tasks, students will start by launching a spark cluster on Amazon's EC2 cloud computing platform. As they progress to working with real data, they will gain exposure to a variety of useful tools, including RDFlib and SPARQL. The course is designed to get students up and running in Spark as quickly and painlessly as possible, so that by the end, they will be comfortable and competent enough to start engineering their own big data solutions.