Certified Kubernetes Application Developer CKAD Learning Path

CKAD Certification

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer CKAD Learning Path

Finally moving a bit away from the Clouds (AWS and GCP) and as my involvement grew more with Kubernetes, I decided to challenge myself for the Kubernetes certification. I started with the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer and am happy to share that I cleared it in the first attempt with 84%.

  • CKAD is more of an open book test, where you have access to the official Kubernetes documentation exam, but it focuses more on hands-on experience.
  • CKAD focuses on “Using a Kubernetes cluster once already provisioned
  • Unlike AWS and GCP certifications, you would be required to solve, debug actual problems and provision resources on a live Kubernetes cluster.
  • It is surely one of the most challenging exam, I have appeared for in the recent times.
  • Even though it is an open book test, you need to know where the information is.
  • Trust me, if you are not prepared this time is not going to be sufficient.

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CKAD Exam Pattern and Tips

    • CKAD requires you to solve 19 questions in 2 hours.
    • CKAD exam curriculum includes these general domains and their weights on the exam:
      • 13% – Core Concepts
      • 18% – Configuration
      • 10% – Multi-Container Pods
      • 18% – Observability
      • 20% – Pod Design
      • 13% – Services & Networking
      • 8% – State Persistence
    • Exam questions can be attempted in any order and doesn’t have to be sequential.
    • Each exam question carries a weight so be sure you attempt the exams with higher weights before focusing on the lower ones. So target the ones with higher weights and quicker solutions like debugging ones.
    • 4 different K8s clusters are provisioned. Each question refers to a different kubernetes cluster, and the context needs to be switched. So be sure to execute the kubectl use context command. This command is available with every question and you just need to copy paste it.
    • Check for the namespace mentioned in the question, to find resources and create resources. Use the -n <namespace>
    • You would be performing most of the interaction from base node. However, pay attention to check for the node you need to execute the exams and make sure you return back to the base node.
    • SSH to nodes and gaining root access is allowed, if needed. Commands are provided.
    • Read carefully the Information provided within the questions with the mark. They would provide very useful hints in addressing the question and save time. for e.g. namespaces to look into. for a failed pod, what has already been created like configmap, secrets, network policies so that you do not create the same.
    • Make sure you know the imperative commands to create resources, as you won’t have time to time to create and edit yaml files. kubectl run with restart flag is is your saviour.

kubectl commands

    • If you need to edit further use –dry-run -o yaml to get a headstart yaml file and edit the same.

CKAD Learning Path

CKAD Key Topics

General information and practices

  • You can book the exam from CNCF CKAD Certification @ $300. Usually you would get discounts coupons for 15-20% on the exam.
  • Exam can be taken online from anywhere.
  • Make sure you have prepared your workspace well before the exams.
  • Make sure you have a valid government issued ID card as it would be checked.
  • You are not allowed to have anything around you and no one should enter the room.
  • Exam proctor will be watching you always, so refrain from doing any other activities. Your screen is also always shared.
  • I did not have any warnings with the Proctor, except for a request to have camera focused.
  • You would need to install a Google Chrome plugin and the exam provides a web based shell to work on which worked quite well without any glitches. Copy + Paste works fine.
  • You will have a online notepad on the right corner to note down. I hardly used it, but it can be good type and modify text instead of using VI editor.