O'Reilly and Katacoda
O'Reilly and Katacoda

I’m thrilled to announce today that O’Reilly has acquired Katacoda, an interactive technology platform that enables hands-on learning. At O’Reilly, we strive to empower our customers with the skills they need to succeed in a world where technology is advancing at the speed of light. This goes beyond reading pages in a book or completing an online training course and checking a box. We want to ensure users learn how to practically apply important technical skills in real-world situations—and the best way to do that is to “learn by doing.”

Reading a book, watching a video, or framing that beautiful certificate of completion doesn’t on its own prove you can do the work in production. That requires putting the information those resources provide into practice. In today’s constantly evolving landscape, being able to both learn and apply that learning is the new standard—and the fastest way to learn new technologies is interactive learning. Because the most impactful learning happens when you’re doing—not just reading about a topic but actually manipulating it in real time to discover how it works.

Integrating Katacoda’s interactive learning scenarios and sandboxes will help O’Reilly users master important new technologies. It will also enable tech professionals to learn in real environments with the actual tools they would use in production, right in the comfort of their own web browser.

Combining O’Reilly’s editorial approach and expert-driven content with Katacoda’s practical, real-life learning environments provides a huge opportunity for our 2.5 million O’Reilly online learning users. Not only will they be more empowered to build technical skills like Kubernetes, OpenShift, and Docker, but they’ll also be able to close today’s widening skills gap by accessing preconfigured environments, real-world use cases, and expert guidance.

Katacoda scenarios essentially eliminate the barriers to gaining production-level skills. No setup is required, and the sandbox environment eliminates risk to existing systems. Users walk through a progression of guided, contextual steps that run alongside a live coding environment in the cloud created specifically for them. It’s everything modern businesses need to ensure their employees are prepared when it’s time to face real-world situations or innovate their business models using new technologies.

While introducing new and innovative features to O’Reilly is not without its challenges, we’re confident to face them with none other than Katacoda founder Ben Hall leading the charge. Ben will be joining O'Reilly as vice president of interactivity, but this isn’t his first run-in with the company—he’s actually used Katacoda’s technology to teach training courses at our Open Source Software Conference (OSCON). Ben, along with other members of the O’Reilly team, are at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon today, where we announced this exciting news. Stop by and say hello or demo O’Reilly interactive learning if you’re at the show.

The acquisition of Katacoda is one of several updates to O’Reilly online learning this year that help us deliver the most comprehensive learning solution for technologists. In September, we introduced expert playlists, easily shareable content curated by the most respected names in technology and business. The O’Reilly insights dashboard launched earlier this year, enabling business leaders to go beyond completion metrics and access deeper-level insights into specific learning behaviors. Jupyter Notebook integration is another new and notable addition to O’Reilly online learning that helps users build the skills they’re reading about in real time. With interactive Jupyter Notebooks, users can input, edit, and run code and render live results aligned with the author’s explanation—along with the ability to download notebooks to read, review, and practice with later.

We’ve made tremendous strides this year to provide O’Reilly users with the tools that empower them to truly innovate, and there’s much more to come. The acquisition of Katacoda is one we’re very proud of. We’re excited to see what the future holds—and we’ll continue to strive to always be one step ahead of it.

The initial set of O’Reilly interactive learning scenarios is available today, with more exclusive scenarios being introduced in the coming weeks. To learn more or start a free trial, visit oreilly.com.

Article image: O'Reilly and Katacoda