This document explains lab challenges in Cloud Academy. This feature is available to personal and enterprise Cloud Academy users.
Important: Some lab challenges are not available during the free trial period.
If you are currently working on a hands-on lab or lab challenge and having problems, see the Hands-on Labs FAQ.
This document contains the following sections:
What Are Lab Challenges
Cloud Academy's exclusive lab challenges are a lab, the interactive learning tool in Cloud Academy. Lab challenges are available for a growing number of technologies. You can find the list of existing labs in the Cloud Academy library, and see the Upcoming Content list to see what labs are scheduled for the future.
A lab challenge sets up a scenario and challenges you to solve a problem. Beyond just taking a test to answer questions about using a technology, lab challenges let you show your problem-solving skills, all in a secure sandbox environment with no additional costs, no new accounts, and no test instances to clean up at the end.
The lab challenge provides your account credentials for AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or whatever technology the lab requires. When you start a lab challenge, the system launches all the necessary resources and starts the timer. The technology you need appears on your screen with instructions to get started.
After you create your solution to the problem, you run a verification check to see if your solution is successful. You can keep updating your solution until you find the answer or until time runs out.
What to Expect From a Lab Challenge
Lab challenges tell you a lot about what to expect right in the interface. The name, description, and allotted time all appear before you begin. Lab challenges also suggest prerequisite content to make sure you have the knowledge you need to finish the challenge.
The look of a lab challenge varies depending on the topic. If you start a lab challenge that requires access to an environment, such as Amazon Web Services, setup includes initiating the required environments and completing the lab may require you to move between tabs and windows. If you start a lab challenge that uses a code environment, the IDE can appear within the lab screen.
Tip: You can get more space for your IDE window by clicking this button in the upper right corner. Clicking this button detaches the IDE into a separate tab. Anything you typed in the IDE window before detaching remains in the window. Close the tab if you want to return to the previous view.
Lab challenges require time to initialize the tools you need to complete the challenge. The timer counts down during this process, but the time limit for the lab challenges consider initialization time so you should have time to complete the challenge, even after some of the time is taken for setup.
Completing a lab challenge updates your skill profile. If the lab is part of a learning path, then completing it continues you on the path. You can stop a lab challenge in the middle, but if you do, your progress is lost, your profile is not updated, and the learning path (if applicable) cannot be completed. You must start from the beginning if you want to return to the lab. You can restart the lab as many times as you like.
After you complete a lab challenge, you can rate it. The average rating from all learners appears for your reference when you're choosing a lab to take.
How to Use a Lab Challenge
You will encounter lab challenges as you discover content on topics that you want to learn about. Tip: When you search for a topic, you can use the filters on the left side of the screen to limit the results to Hands-on Labs, which include lab challenges.
Use the following steps to start a lab challenge:
Click the lab challenge that you want to start. A page appears with detailed information.
Click the Start Lab Challenge button. The lab content appears and the timer begins.
Read the mission and complete the steps. Use the Validation Steps to check your progress.
When you finish the lab, you can share the result.