Hello, and welcome to this blog on how we at Expleo Academy moved our technical courses to online delivery.

We begin in the year 2BC (“Before COVID”) – a couple of years ago when most of our technical courses were classroom-based. We delivered technical courses using local virtual machines (“VMs”) running Oracle VirtualBox on a suite of training laptops. For onsite courses at client sites, we either couriered the laptops ahead or I copied the VM across onto delegate laptops with VirtualBox pre-installed (deleting it at the end).

Instructor led training

And then, of course, everything changed. Due to COVID-19, no-one could travel, which resulted in the rapid need to migrate Expleo Academy to online.

Naturally, we had delivered online courses before – it was always an option – and so we had the delivery tool already. The major challenge was how to handle the training environment.

What did we do?


To begin with, we placed the VM onto OneDrive where the delegates could download and unzip it. The snag was, not everyone’s laptop was quick enough so we decided that we needed a better solution.

The solution


We moved to Amazon Web Services (“AWS”). I created a new AWS Windows instance which was connectable remotely and set up everything needed for the Selenium course. We took an image of the instance and duplicated it each time for any new course. The new AWS instances worked fabulously and all the feedback on this new VM was phenomenal as it ran so much faster than the old local one.

We now have a couple of Cloudwatch rules that trigger Lambda tasks to start and stop the instances each day of the course.

Looking forward


We now have so many possibilities. Our Cucumber with Selenium course uses an AWS instance – and the same goes for our course on Selenium using C#. There are plans to enable Selenium to use Python to deliver the A4Q Certified Selenium Foundation, and don’t get me started on DevOps!

John Kurowski has been delivering training for over 10 years specializing in Automation, Agile and ISTQB. John also develops the courseware and creates virtual machines in AWS for automation courses.
John has been working in IT for over 30 years and has also been a tester, test manager, developer, development manager, project manager, support consultant (you get the picture…) John has had three sons for 20 years and three cats for over 5 years.