Leveraging Katacoda technology exclusively within O’Reilly

And the decision to shutter katacoda.com

O’Reilly acquired Katacoda in late 2019 to create a powerful solution for developing critical tech skills for the 2.8+ million members on the O’Reilly learning platform—and the results have proven the decision to be everything we’d hoped.

As of the writing of this post, there are 889 live interactive scenarios and sandboxes powered by Katacoda on the O’Reilly learning platform, with more being added weekly. We’ve also incorporated the technology into live events so attendees can code along as they get personal instruction. And several of our digital books now include sandboxes on every page so readers can try out what they’re learning in live dev environments as they go.

To date, over 387,866 unique users have spent more than 74,711 hours getting hands-on experience with technologies including Java, Docker, Kubernetes, Python, Go, C++, and more with O’Reilly interactive learning. And they’re taking this newfound knowledge developed in our safe dev environments and applying it to their jobs every day.

The success has been so dramatic that we’ve decided to focus entirely on integrating Katacoda’s technology in new ways within our ecosystem. As a result, we can no longer support katacoda.com for public use, and we’ll be shuttering the site on June 15, 2022.

This decision wasn’t made lightly. Thousands of people have turned to katacoda.com to get hands-on experience with today’s technologies. But keeping the site running safely takes significant resources. We need to free up our tech teams from having to protect katacoda.com from crypto mining and other types of abuse that have become a common problem for cloud-based services with free tiers. These abuses can lead to untoward activity like ransomware attacks, which can proliferate across the internet, and O’Reilly wants to play no part in that (even if indirectly). Right now we’re putting security resources against a site that’s a vector for abuse and leveraging engineering resources that could be better used elsewhere—and that just isn’t feasible. We need those teams dedicated to the O’Reilly learning platform, which leverages Katacoda technology in a safer way behind our paywall.

Katacoda technology is a useful and powerful learning tool for the tech community, and it will continue to be so as an exclusive offering available within the O’Reilly learning platform. While we regret that we’re no longer able to support katacoda.com as a free tool for the general public, we’re glad the technology continues to thrive in support of the learning goals of over 2.8 million O’Reilly members every day.