I recently attended a Cloudera (www.cloudera.com) training course in London which covered technologies such as hadoop, pig and hive that I had been putting to use on Amazon's EC2.
Hadoop is a piece of software developed as part of the apache project that can be deployed on cloud infrastructures making distributed computing easy, well at least a heck of a lot easier than it used to be! The framework is extremely friendly and is based upon an implementation of Googles MapReduce concepts and the Hadoop Distributed File System or HDFS (for more information visit cloudera). The combination of these technologies makes for some really powerful computing capability with relatively small development time compared to some of the more traditional approaches that are currently employed by organisations. Looking at the increase in job ratings relating to hadoop over at itjobswatch it appears to becoming used in more and more organisations, so obtaining a qualification in this area could do your career some favours during the recession.
Cloudera are the only organisation to currently offer a certification path for hadoop so I took advantage of the fact that they came over to Europe to teach the course in London and Berlin at the beginning of June. The course was lead by Aaron, a Cloudera employee/developer, who has a vast knowledge of all things Hadoop and teaches extremely well.
After the course I took the certification exam which was a lot harder than I was expecting, certainly not a course you could "wing" for want of a better phrase. Fortunately I passed and gained my certification, although if you fail you do get another attempt after a 7 day gap giving those who need it a second chance with ample revision time.