Are you aspiring to become a Certified Kubernetes Application Developer? This CKAD beginner’s guide will prove an important resource for you to reach your goal.

Containers have taken over the domain of software development, and no wonder they are so resourceful. However, containers will eventually lead you to the topics of container orchestration and management. While the deployment of a single container could be easier, it is difficult to ensure the operationalization of containers at scale. 

At the same time, when you bring microservices and various cloud provides into the equation, you could come across massive troubles. This is where Kubernetes pops in, and so does the demand for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification. 

The following discussion serves as a guide for one of the reliable, professional certifications in Kubernetes.

While you are searching for information about the CKAD certification, first of all, you should take a look at the tool itself. 

Kubernetes is a platform developed at Google and is now under the supervision of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). 

The meaning of the term lies in its origins in the Greek language, which means ‘sailing master’ or the ‘helmsman.’ So, Kubernetes works as the sailing master for containers.

It is an open-source platform for the automation of Linux container operations. Subsequently, it can work for the elimination of different manual processes in the deployment and scaling of containerized applications. 

What is Kubernetes Application Developer Certification?

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification comes under the responsibility of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation or CNCF, in partnership with The Linux Foundation. 

The primary aim of the certification focuses on the expansion of the Kubernetes ecosystem by encouraging standardized certification and training. 

Kubernetes is definitely one of the high-velocity projects in the domain of open source presently, thereby validating its rapid adoption. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation or CNCF presently focuses on expanding the community of application developers with Kubernetes skills. As a result, it can achieve constant growth for all professionals across a wide range of industries by leveraging Kubernetes technology. 

The CKAD certification is one of the key elements in the process of capitalizing on professional opportunities. It can help certified application developers prove their value and credibility in the IT labor market. At the same time, enterprises could also develop high-quality teams to enhance their growth. 

Understanding CKAD Certification Prerequisites and Requirements

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam validates the capabilities of users for designing, building, configuring, and exposing cloud-native applications by using Kubernetes. 

Candidates qualifying for the certification could showcase abilities for defining application resources. At the same time, certified professionals could also prove skills for using core primitives in the development, monitoring, and troubleshooting of scalable tools and applications in Kubernetes. 

If you are preparing for the CKAD certification, you need to remember that there are no specific prerequisites. You need to learn about container runtimes alongside microservice architecture, although there will be no questions from these topics in the exam. The questions in the exam will just assume that you know about these topics. 

In addition, successfully qualified candidates could also provide their skills for using the following:

  • Programming languages such as Java, Node.js, Python, or Go.
  • OCI-Compliant Container Runtime likes cri-o or Docker.
  • Cloud-native application architectures and concepts.

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification program also focuses on the validation of the skill of users in practical, command-line environments. One of the primary objectives of the certification is that certified professionals have the critical skills, competency, and knowledge for performing the desired tasks. 

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Exam Details

The next important concern for an aspiring candidate looking for the CKAD certification would be the exam details:

  • The price of registration for the exam is $375 USD, which also includes one free repeat attempt. 
  • The exam features an online, performance-based test in a proctored environment. 
  • The format of the exam includes performance-based problems which candidates have to solve in the command line. 
  • Candidates would get almost 2 hours for completing the exam. 

Domains Covered in the CKAD Exam

Another critical detail in a guide to the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification is the outline of domains you can find in the exam curriculum. The certification exam focuses on the following domains with distinct weightage for each domain:

  • Core concepts: 13%
  • Configuration: 18%
  • Services and networking: 13%
  • Multi-container pods: 10%
  • State persistence: 8%
  • Pod design: 20%
  • Observability: 18%

Candidates could tailor their preparations in accordance with the weightage of different domains. Most important of all, the different domains of the exam could provide a structured preparation approach for all aspiring candidates. 

Also Read: Preparation Tips for Certified Kubernetes Application Developer

Reasons to Choose Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Certification

The many factors which affect the decisions of a candidate to pursue CKAD certification could be confusing sometimes. So, why not take a look at some of the noticeable reasons to choose the CKAD certification? 

First of all, let us take a look at the popularity of Kubernetes. Honestly, you wouldn’t have thought of certification in Kubernetes if it wasn’t popular. You heard it somewhere and found out that people all over the IT space are talking about it, and it got your attention. However, does Kubernetes actually have a solid base, or is it just floating on a cloud of hype? 

These questions regarding Kubernetes can fall upside down when you take a look at the numbers associated with Kubernetes. 

  • The Cloud Native Computing Foundation reported in 2019 that almost 84% of enterprises in its survey reported the use of containers in production.
  • Almost 78% of the respondents in the CNCF report affirmed to be using Kubernetes in some type. 
  • As of June 2020, there were almost 91,680 commits made to the Kubernetes repository on Github. 
  • According to the State of Kubernetes 2020 Report by VMware, almost 95% of participants indicated receiving clear benefits from the adoption of Kubernetes. 
  • The State of Kubernetes 2020 Report also indicated that 56% of respondents find resource utilization as a top advantage of Kubernetes. 
  • Almost 53% of participants in the State of Kubernetes 2020 Report suggested the reduction in software development cycles as a reliable benefit. 

Kubernetes also introduces prolific benefits for enterprises such as:

  • Enabling the seamless transition to the cloud
  • Containerization of monolithic applications
  • Reduction of public cloud costs

The numbers regarding the popularity of Kubernetes and its benefits for enterprise users clearly show the benefits of CKAD certification. A reliable and popular technology will definitely catch the attention of big enterprises and bring prolific career opportunities with professional certification. 

What are the Benefits of the CKAD Certification?


Apart from the popularity of Kubernetes as a tool, it is important to ensure that the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification can support your career development. Here are some of the notable benefits you can get through a Kubernetes certification.

  • Distinct Advantage

The CKAD certification helps you stand out from the crowd while ensuring that your resume looks appealing to potential employers. As a result, you have a promising tool for overpowering the competition. The gradual increase in the number of companies depending on Kubernetes and the extent of Kubernetes adoption in enterprises can serve as an immediate opportunity for all aspiring candidates.

  • Dedication to Kubernetes

The certification exam involves a lot of critical concepts which require dedicated training. Passing the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification would help you showcase personal growth in terms of dedication to the technology. The training for this certification would also drive your preparation for the next important skillset. 

  • Proof of Professional Excellence

The broad range of topics covered in the CKAD certification offers adequate proof of its ability to strengthen your Kubernetes knowledge. Qualifying the exam would ensure that you understand all the concepts easily and make your way easily through different types of workflows. For example, you could become fluent in the 12-factor app principles supporting a diverse range of SaaS applications

  • Better Salary

The reputation of the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification is one of the formidable reasons for which qualified candidates can command better salaries. It is clearly evident that candidates could not qualify for the exam easily. So, companies looking for Kubernetes engineers are obviously willing to offer higher salaries for certification professionals

Furthermore, Kubernetes is a new technology, and certified Kubernetes professionals show that they have knowledge and experience of the concepts and the platform itself. As a result, certified Kubernetes professionals can provide exceptional value for enterprises with their skills and knowledge. Considering the significance of their roles, Kubernetes application developers can easily fetch higher salaries than non-certified candidates.

Also Read: How to Pass CKAD Exam in 33 Days?

Resources for CKAD Certification Exam Preparation

Preparing for a professional certification exam like the CKAD certification is not easy. However, you could start with some basic resources that could help you get started with the topics in the certification exam. 

Generally, you would have to dedicate almost two to three hours daily for searching and learning from different resources. Here is an outline of some resources you would need to prepare for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification. 

Understanding Kubernetes

First of all, you can start by gaining a fundamental understanding of Kubernetes and the components of a cluster.

Understanding Clusters

You could go for a practical approach by carrying out the installation of a cluster from scratch. The tutorial titled ‘Kubernetes the Hard Way’ on Github is a helpful resource for learning about different components in a cluster and how they work together. 

Kubernetes Documentation

Dive further into an understanding of the concepts alongside the best practices for actually using the cluster. The official Kubernetes documentation can come to your rescue with knowledge regarding a lot of Kubernetes concepts. 

Kubernetes Tutorials 

Most important of all, you can turn to the tutorials for stateless application deployment and Kubernetes tutorials on the official Kubernetes website. It is just like accessing a whole library of learning resources that cater to your questions arising gradually as you learn about the technology.

Kubernetes Cheatsheet

One of the important requirements in preparation for CKAD certification would obviously refer to experimentation with kubectl for parsing results. You can easily discover the resources for identifying suitable commands for advanced parsing in the Kubernetes’ cheatsheet.  

Use Minikube

You would always need to practice for getting your way through the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam. The certification exam features performance-based questions, and you would have to deal with the CLI only. Therefore, you need to have experience in working alongside deploying to a cluster. 

Experts recommend starting with a test application followed by deploying the test application to a running cluster. Subsequently, you can try some tasks by using a specific application. You could find various test applications or install Minikube on Kubernete’s official website if you don’t have a running Kubernetes cluster. 

Expert Tips for the CKAD Certification Preparation

Now you have all you need to start preparing for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam. It is difficult and worthy of effort. However, you would need something more than just learning resources and basic information on exam details for qualifying for the exam. Here are some of the top expert tips you should follow for the CKAD certification exam.

  • Read the Syllabus Thoroughly

This guide hasn’t outlined the domains of the exam in detail, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t too. As a matter of fact, you should start your preparations for CKAD certification by reviewing the exam details thoroughly along with the domains. You need to know the subtopics you have to deal with in each domain, thereby helping you find the type of questions you might come across in the exam.

  • Don’t Overthink

The CKAD certification exam is just another exam, and you also have another retake attempt for free. So, you need to keep a healthy balance between your life and preparation for ensuring success in the exam. Eat nutritious foods and follow healthy sleep routines to stay healthy for achieving the best results in your preparation.

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Bottom Line

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification is definitely a tough nut to crack. However, you could always rely on promising learning resources alongside expert tips to qualify for the exam. At the same time, you need to boost your preparations with the support of online training courses. 

Select training courses for the Kubernetes certification, which cover all exam objectives, offer interactive training videos and hands-on lab exercises. All of these elements are important for ensuring your success in the exam. Learn more about Kubernetes and get the best training courses to clear the professional Kubernetes certification with ease.    

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