Review By: Tonmoy Paul
Time taken to Prepare
Detailed Review Of Preparation
Kubernetes is the most popular orchestration system for automating containerized application deployment and management. Certified Kubernetes Application Developer also known as CKAD is the certification that validates knowledge of an application developer on Kubernetes.
CKAD exam is a true performance based test in opposed to other common MCQ type tests. You sit online with your computer, having some requirements met and a proctor siting on the other side monitoring you for the whole time. You are given access to the test platform from the Chrome browser where you have questions and terminal to solve or troubleshoot scenario based questions within 2 hours. The test questions cover varrying percentage of k8s (Kubernetes) core concepts, configuration, multi-container pods, observability, pod design, services & networking and state persistence topics.
To learn and clear the exam, I have primarily prepared based on a Udemy course and lots of practice at work and home. Here I will share few details about them.
This is the course I mainly followed first to learn about Kubernetes and prepare for the exam. The instructor, Mumshad Mannambeth has done a great job covering everything I needed to know to pass the test. Animated explanations, real world scenarios and most importantly lots of quiz questions & practice tests in a live environment (Katacoda) helped me a lot to understand the topics better. The course is based on 6 hours of on-demand videos but it takes way longer as I did practical tests plus my own research.
In the exam, you are allowed to open one extra tab with either the k8s documentation or k8s github page to use as reference. While studying, there were many situations when I needed to dig deeper on a topic and the documentation is very good on that. Besides, using documentation regularly proved to be handy in the exam time when I needed to quickly navigate to some topic for references.
Since we use Kubernetes at work, I regularly got chance to work in Kubernetes clusters, deploying or troubleshooting applications, specially working with prometheus-operator (consisting of prometheus, grafana, alertmanager and the operator itself) and many other interesting helm charts, also got help from others at work - all of those helped a lot in many ways to be prepared for the test. Additionally, I installed minikube on my laptop and whenever felt inspired, deployed different resources and played with various bits of pieces to understand different topics.
I realized that I still wasn't ready as the exam period is too tight to be able to answer all questions. I recall to be able to answer a little above 90% and I am thankful to @dgkanatsios for these exercises, https://github.com/dgkanatsios/CKAD-exercises which helped me to be faster and revise all the topics before the exam.
There are many other resources to help prepare for the exam. I heard that LinuxAcademy practice tests, LinuxFoundation CKAD specific training and there are books that are good to be prepared for the exam but haven't tried them.
A quick note at the end that this is not to be used as a guide on how someone should prepare but purely to be considered as my experience of the preparation journey for CKAD. You can benefit from this as is or can modify/add more resources as needed to pursue the credential. As the use of Kubernetes growing alongside cloud native applications, Engineers who are not yet exposed to should surely benefit from Kubernetes knowledge & I can highly recommend to aim for this certification first.
Wish you a good luck.
Benefits From Certification