Our History

The O’Reilly School of Technology (OST) was originally founded in 1997 as a private educational company called Useractive. The original founders included Scott Gray, Tricia Gray, Trent Johnson, Debra Woods and Kendell Welch.

Working in close partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a top-tier computer science university and a pioneer in online learning, Useractive set out to build a new and exceptional school that would provide high-quality IT courses and certificate series to its students. Useractive developed the revolutionary “Sandbox” system where students are guided to make their own discoveries through constructivist methods—building theories through experimentation, and receiving help and feedback from instructors through Socratic exchanges—with no passive lecturing or students hiding in the back row.

In 2005, Useractive was acquired by O’Reilly Media, itself a pioneer in Information Technology.  O’Reilly Media, Inc. has enabled innovators to connect with one another and to share their knowledge with the world for over 30 years.  With an academic approach to publishing, research, conferences, and spotting trends, O’Reilly continually helps propel the evolution of the Internet.  Discerning professionals the world over look to O’Reilly for guidance as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of information technology.  Through unprecedented partnership between the University of Illinois and O’Reilly, these two IT leaders originally combined to create O’Reilly Learning, now called the O’Reilly School of Technology (OST).

O’Reilly School of Technology is a private continuing education and professional development institution providing aspiring IT professionals and adult learners with innovative online education that allows them to develop skills through practical application and instructor feedback.  We offer a diverse array of online courses and Certificate of Professional Development that help students gain the knowledge and skills they need to begin IT careers or propel their existing careers further.  O’Reilly School of Technology students work on their own time, at their own pace, with dedicated instructor assistance and feedback.  After completing one of our Professional Development programs, our students earn not only a certificate to verify their mastery of the skills required, but they also have a portfolio of completed, real-world projects that demonstrate their proficiency.  This tangible evidence of expertise has proven invaluable to our students as they seek employment or advancement in their careers.