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O’Reilly Interactive Labs

This site contains documentation and resources for authors creating content for O’Reilly interactive labs. If you’re just getting started, see the Interactive Overview and “Your First Lab” pages.

Interactive labs (formerly Katacoda scenarios) eliminate many of the barriers to gaining production-level programming skills. No setup is required for learners, who walk through a progression of short (5-15 minutes), guided, contextual steps that run alongside a live coding environment in the cloud provisioned specifically for them.

Challenges are labs that require learners to complete tasks before moving on; they require additional authoring steps to include things like hints and verification.

Finally, Cloud Labs are labs that integrate with various cloud providers to enable learners to work through various provider-specific cloud topics (e.g., provisioning, deployment, configuration, etc.).

Labs are written in Markdown, configured in JSON, and are built on top of one of our preconfigured environments. (Please note that we are not currently supporting author-created environment images). Lab environments can be further customized and prepared for the learners by means of configuration scripts that can be run at various points during the lab.

Supported Features and Capabilities

At a high level, labs features and capabilities include:

  • Customizable, sandboxed learning environments
  • Terminal/editor integration
  • Challenges and possible verification of learner inputs/actions
  • Ability to spin up servers, databases, etc.