How Redis Labs Launched 600 Software Environments
Nate Aune (Appsembler) and Kyle Davis (RedisLabs)

How Redis Labs Launched 600 Software Environments at RedisConf

Each year, Redis Labs, the home of open source Redis (more on Redis here), hosts an annual conference called RedisConf. Branded as the largest gathering for the world’s fastest database, RedisConf brings together hundreds of Redis developers, innovators and contributors worldwide for a celebration of learning, innovation, and all things Redis.

Check out our recap of RedisConf19.

The conference was an exciting two days. Before the conference started, Redis Labs held a full day of hands-on training workshops, called Day 0, where over 500 developers gathered to learn and develop their skills during live tutorials. Four training sessions were held simultaneously throughout the entire day, with three including virtual IT labs powered by Appsembler Virtual Labs.

After a successful Day 0 training at RedisConf, we sat down with Kyle Davis, Redis Labs’ Head of Developer Advocacy, to learn more about the Day 0 training workshops and what Redis Labs did to deliver a seamless in-person learning experience.

Nate Aune (Appsembler) and Kyle Davis (RedisLabs)
Nate Aune (Appsembler) and Kyle Davis (Redis Labs)

The Challenge with Hands-On Training Workshops

At prior RedisConfs, Redis Labs offered live, hands-on training workshops to train conference attendees on various aspects of Redis. However, the instructor-led workshop experience in prior years was very different compared to this year’s experience at RedisConf 2019 and came with its own set of challenges.

Davis says, “Last year we were having people set up their own environments, and we have a hands-on approach in these workshops. However, it took so long to actually install Python on people’s machines or get them to download a container or even download data sets.”

In fact, the simultaneous setup process for a large class of learners proved to be a major logistical and technical challenge,” Davis says, “We were experiencing times where we just had to give up on the hands-on sessions.”

Because Redis Labs has a limited amount of time with their students, it was important for them to make sure their learners are maximizing their use of the Redis software and not spending time trying to set up machines.

“I think it sends the wrong message to have lots of setup time,” says Davis, “We have a limited amount of time…we really have to teach them the quick wins they can get early on so they can have the confidence to go home and iterate on that.”

“If you have a limited amount of time with the students you want to make sure they’re using the Redis software the maximum amount of time and not spending time trying to set up machines,” says Aune.

Instant Training Environments with Virtual Labs

The hands-on training sessions at RedisConf offered a very different, seamless experience for learners. Redis Labs used Appsembler’s Virtual Labs to improve the experiences of trainees and trainers. “With Appsembler Virtual Labs we can make them feel smart and give them very quick wins very early,” said David.

For the enterprise customers that are coming into these workshops it’s all about showing value early. Learners were able to click a single link to spin up a virtual training lab and immediately begin hands-on training. Davis said, “We just launch the browser, log into the virtual lab, and instantly they’re using Redis.”

Redis Labs benefited from the time savings that come with eliminating hardware and software setup.

“Now that we can do this and not have to worry about getting 35 different varieties of laptops…it really simplifies that and I think it matches the true experience of Redis because most of the time people are installing on a server. They’re not having to go through and build,” says Davis.

Redis Labs will be using Appsembler Virtual Labs for future training events and will continue to use it to power their online hands-on training in Redis University.

Click here to learn more about Redis Labs and how they are using Appsembler.