To a new reader, a quick glance at my writing history would suggest that I am a cyber security engineer which is absolutely correct. But then why would I study for something like CKAD which is mostly aimed at developers and devops engineers?
Devops is one of the fastest growing fields in computer science. Almost everyday a new tool or an update comes up and one has to be on their toes all the time. Being a security guy, my ultimate interest lies in the security of devops i.e. devsecops. What I have come to realise that it’s almost impossible to understand devsecops without understanding devops . So this has effectively become a journey in devops for now atleast which bought me to CKAD.
CKAD which stands for Certified Kubernetes Application Developer ,is a certification offered by CNCF and Linux Foundation . This certification mostly deals with deploying and fixing kubernetes objects such as pods, deployments , services , etc. To gain the certification, one must pass a 2 hours completely proctered hands on exam with 66% or above . The practical hands on part is what actually got me interested in the certification because in my opinion hands on certifications give real life experience and look good on the resume as well.
To prepare for this, I exclusively used only kodekloud.com and it’s online labs along with a local minikube cluster on an ubuntu vm. I don’t feel anything else would be required to prepare this. So, thanks for that Kodekloud and Mumshad!
Admittedely , I found it a little hard to learn the concepts because it was completely new to me. I would suggest to become crystal clear in the concepts of docker and containers before diving to kubernetes. If you buy the complete subscription of Kodekloud , a course on containers is also included which you can add to your preparation if you feel your foundations are weak in containers and dockers. I can suggest the best way to grasp it would to be keep a goal to dockerise any random full stack web application project openly available. This helped me immensely while I was trying to learn the basics of dockers and containers.
The Kodekloud CKAD course contains online labs which would give good practice and a feel for the exam . There are also additional mock exams and lightening labs which can simulate the exam experience. Personally I felt the real exam is a little harder than the mock exams given , nevertheless they still are of great value.
They key to passing the exam is as you guessed it: kubectl ! Become super familiar with kubectl imperative commands because in the exam you will never get the time to write and format yaml files. There are certain tips scattered throughout the CKAD course which would help you in mastering the command.
Lastly, while to an extent, all of the above is mostly course dependent, there is another important skill which no course can teach you and that is reading the docs. Make the kubernetes documentation your holy grail as that will be available for use in the duration of the exam . Be sure you learn how to search for a topic effectively within the documentation guide and even in the pages . What helped me was redoing all the labs and mock exams several times.
CKAD training portal provides access to a killer.sh environment for exam practice. Do not worry if you find it hard, I can confirm that the exam is quite easy compared to killer.sh :)
If you have enough practice and confidence , then exam will not seem hard at all. Please make sure to follow all the rules provided by CKAD so as to avoid unneccessary wastage of time in rearranging stuff around. Since it a video proctered exam, the procter will want to check your entire surrounding to make sure everything is in order. Also ,keep your identification documents ready and do a trial test in your webcam to make sure the name and signature is visible .
This should be all, I hope this blog helps anyone looking to take this certification. Onto CKA now!
You can reach out to me in linkedin here .