If you’ve ever played video games, chances are you’ve faced a boss as the final act of completing a level. You’ve gone through the level — gaining skills, XP, or money, and now comes the greatest challenge you’ve faced yet.
Whether you beat the boss depends on a number of things…your experience level, choosing the right approach, and your understanding of how the game’s mechanics work.
So when we built Challenges on Linux Academy, our VP of Engineering, David Smith, came up with this analogy: a Quest is a World, a Challenge is a boss, and a Learning Activity is a level.
It maps so well to how we’ve built the system that we’ve internally kept this analogy. Let me explain…
Linux Academy has Quests. A Quest could be the “AWS Security Basics” quest, where you get to explore the “AWS Security World.” Or it could be a “Docker Containers” quest which explores the world of Docker containers, and so on. Inside of that Quest, you will either find Challenges, Learning Activities, or a combination of the two. Let’s take a look at a Quest with Challenges.
Example: The AWS Security Basics Quest
Let’s say that this Quest has 3 Challenges (or 3 “bosses”):
- VPC Network Security
- S3 Security Basics
- Encryption Basics
Each of these Challenges will test you on specific topics. So for these Challenge-first Quests, your skills will be put to the test.
But, just like with most video games, we don’t want to make it impossible for you to succeed, even if the Challenge is above your skill level. So, we built Learning Activities.
With Challenge-first Quests, Learning Activities only appear when you need them to. After all, if you complete 70% of the VPC Network Security Challenge, you only need Learning Activities to teach you the 30% that you missed, so our skills-based training system will tailor your training to fill in that skills gap.
Once you learn that 30% from one or more Learning Activities, you can then go back and tackle that Challenge again. This time, you will be armed with enough experience and knowledge of the platform to successfully conquer that Challenge.
As you develop your skills and as you complete Challenges, not only do you get rewarded Gems, but you also complete your skills profile which you can show off to potential employers or even your manager!
Real resources, not just Q&A
Something else that’s important to note is that these Challenges aren’t just question & answer quizzes, though we certainly offer those too.
We offer Live Environment Challenges that deploy real environments and real resources.
Going back to the VPC Network Security example — you will be dealing with real VPC resources like security groups, NACLs, route tables, and more.
This means that your manager knows these are real-world skills and not just conceptual skills, and that’s what we are all about.
Skills-based training with Learning-first Quests
I mentioned Challenge-first Quests, but what about Learning-first Quests? They’re coming soon :-). Subscribe below to stay up-to-date with when we release them!