Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) - Everything you need to know

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The preparations and the CKAD exam are behind me. So the time has come to summarize and write down experiences that may help someone of you pass this exam. In this post, I will try to introduce you to Kubernetes certification. I will present materials that will help you prepare well for the CKAD exam. I will also post some tips that will definitely be useful during the exam.

What does the CKAD exam look like?

The Kubernetes Certification Program is under the care of Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), in collaboration with The Linux Foundation. It is this authority that is the issuer of the certificate. The Kubernetes exams differ from other cloud exams. All Kubernetes exams (CKAD, CKA, CKS) are 100% practical. You will not encounter any open or closed questions here. The exam consists of solving tasks on the Kubernetes cluster that will be made available to you during the exam. Your only working tool will be the terminal. Yes, the terminal. This is why mastering the terminal and tools like vim is very important.

In my opinion, this form of certification is much more interesting than a set of multiple-choice questions. First of all, during the preparation, you will learn not only the theory, but you will gain skills that will be useful in your later work with K8s. If you already have experience working with Kubernetes, you may find that you don’t need to prepare much for such an exam.

The exam is a fight against time. We get 19 exercises that we have to solve in 2 hours. Each question has a specific percentage of weight. From tasks for 2% to tasks for up to 13%. Often this weight is not adequate for the complexity of the task. There will be tasks that will require two console commands to be solved. There will also be more complicated ones that need a few minutes.

What does the CKAD exam environment look like

The exam is carried out using the Training Portal platform. Below I am enclosing a drawing showing what the exam environment looks like.

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  1. The exam is taken in the browser. To the main exam window, you have the option of using one extra tab where you can open one of the below domains
    https://kubernetes.io/docs/
    https://kubernetes.io/blog/
    https://github.com/kubernetes/

Basic information about the CKAD exam

  • 19 tasks to be done

How to prepare for the CKAD exam?

There is a lot of material on the Internet about Kubernetes. It is not the trick to find learning materials, but to select the most valuable ones. Below I will list materials that I think will prepare you well for certification. In my case, the preparation for the exam was also my first contact with work at K8s. Previously, I was only familiar with the concept of this platform. I spent about 2 months preparing, but it was not very intensive and regular. However, it allowed me to pass the exam on the first attempt and get a 99% result.

  • Udemy & KodeKloud Course -In my opinion, this is one of the best sources for preparing for a certificate. The course consists of video materials that cover the range of material needed for CKAD. What’s more valuable, as part of the course we will gain access to KodeKloud platforms. On this platform, the author has prepared a set of practice exams and exercises. These Mock Exams and Lightning Labs are the best way to prepare for the exam, as they reflect very well what we will encounter during the exam. I based my preparations mainly on this platform.

CKAD Tips & Tricks

It’s time for the most interesting point of this post. Here are some tips that I hope you will find useful during your exam

  • notes - we cannot mark questions in the selector. So we have to deal with our own methods. A notebook comes in handy here. Even before starting the exam, we can list the question numbers with their weight, and gradually complete the status of the done task during the exam. For me it looked like this:
1. 6% OK # not done
2. 13% NOK # done
3. 2% CHECK # done, but required verificatiom

N. 4% OK

Instead of a notepad, you can use a text file that you can edit with vim. It is possible that in the case of restarting the environment, the contents of the notepad will disappear, while the file will not

  • Environment configuration - just as you probably configure your own environment to make it easier and faster for you to work on it, it is necessary to configure the examination environment to save valuable minutes. Below is the full configuration that I used in my exam
sudo -i # immediately after starting exam, I recommend switching to root so that we are not surprised by the lack of some access# 1. ~/.bashrc configuration
# The following configuration can be found at:
# https://kubernetes.io/docs/reference/kubectl/cheatsheet/#kubectl-autocomplete
# aliases must be remembered
source <(kubectl completion bash)
echo “source <(kubectl completion bash)” >> ~/.bashrc
alias k=kubectl
complete -F __start_kubectl k
alias change-ns=”kubectl config set-context — current — namespace ” # Namespace change
alias current-ns=”kubectl config view — minify | grep namespace” # Display the current namespace
# You can also try a few additional aliases, for example:
alias kap=”kubectl apply -f”
alias kgp=”k get pods -o wide — show-labels”
# 2. ~/.vimrc configuration
# The following configuration will set the tabs and indents appropriately, so that created yaml files will have correct structure
set nu et sw=2 ts=2
  • Documentation - documentation is your best friend in the exam. This is where you will find yaml definitions of all objects. This is where you can look for a detailed configuration. You will also find a cheatsheet with commands in it. To navigate smoothly, learn to find information quickly as you prepare. Preferably using a text search engine. You can also prepare your own directory of Chrome bookmarks, or use one of the ready-made ones.

Developer, Engineer, and Cloud Enthusiastic. AWS, GCP, and K8S certified. Polish home page: https://cloud-box.pl

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