Certified Kubernetes Application Developer

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Really happy to share that yesterday I succeeded in taking the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam (official page) from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. This is an online 2-hour, proctored, performance based practical test that consists of several problems that are to be solved using only the command line. Exam format is really similar to the Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator exam that I took last year. The problem domains are the following, along with their weights (June 2018):

  • 13% – Core Concepts
  • 18% Configuration
  • 10% Multi-Container Pods
  • 18% – Observability
  • 20% – Pod Design
  • 13% – Services & Networking
  • 8% – State Persistence

You can check the official curriculum here as well as the official handbook and exam tips. Taking the exam and achieving the certification was a great experience, here are the resources that helped me prepare:

  • On the practice environment, I used an Azure Kubernetes Service cluster, you can easily create one using the documentation here. You can tear the cluster down when you don’t need it (saves money!) and set it up again really quickly with a couple of commands
  • Kubernetes up and Running, a great and well written book, packed with tons of knowledge, highly recommended. It’s small as well, makes up for a perfect reading on the beach
  • Kubernetes in Action, this book’s content goes far beyond from what is asked in the exam, however I highly recommend it as well because it contains a ton of precious Kubernetes knowledge
  • Tom Armstrong has done an awesome job in providing hints’n’tips for the exam as well as gathering links from the official Kubernetes documentation that correspond to the official curriculum. You can find his repo here
  • Last but not least, bear in  mind that your time during the exam is limited. You need to practice a lot before taking it to make sure you know the concepts and their associated commands well. For this purpose, I created some exercises that helped me practice and get acquainted with the ‘kubectl‘ command line tool. I’ve published them on GitHub, check them out and let me know if they’re useful. Feel free to do a Pull Request in case you want to contribute as well.

If you’re taking the exam soon, I really wish you the best of luck!

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