Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam Impression

A month ago, I took and passed Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) and, a week later, Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). This post is not meant to provide review guidelines but my take on the exam as someone:

  • Who has been taking only VMware Certifications in the last 10 years (my last non-vmware cert is NCDA back in 2010?)
  • Primary experience being a System Administrator
  • Knowledge in Cloud-Native only from self-learning/ home lab simulations.

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

The exam is 19 questions in 2 hours. It tests how you operate the basic kubernetes constructs (pod, deployment, services, ingress, netpol, etc) and interact with them both in a requirement and troubleshooting scenario.

My impression:

I found the exam tough in the “time-management” department. It requires you to type/ reconstruct yaml files. Knowledge of kubectl imperative commands and vim shortcuts helps cut down the typing part. The questions are straightforward and with the official k8s link allowed – it should be easy to use as reference for answers.

After the exam, I was not able to answer 4 of the questions. Thankfully – the passing is just 67%. Final score I got was 77%.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)

A week after passing CKAD, I then scheduled for CKA. Since my prepartion for CKAD was just fresh – I just needed to brush up CKA specific domain – kubeadm and components. This was the focus of review for the week before the actual exam.

Specifically, I focus the review on:

  • Kubernetes components (controller, kubelet, api server, etcd, core-dns) and how they interact with each other
  • TLS and it’s purpose within kubernetes cluster)
  • Static pods and how kind works.
  • kubeadm commands

My impression:

The exam is 24 questions for 3 hours which I found, while taking it, is plenty of time to go over the whole questions. There are some questions taken from the CKAD which you’ll be able to answer with no issues as this are fairly basic. I was able to answer all the questions with still 30 minutes remaining. Overall, I found the exam easy compared to CKAD (maybe because of my background as a system admin?) and got a score of 89% (passing is 77%).

Resources used:

  • Udemy: Mumshad for both CKA and CKAD has been valuable. Especially the kodecloud lab and simulation exams. Do NOTE: during my exam, they are still using 1.16 and the exam proper is already at version 1.18. There are some commands that have been improved in the new version of kubernetes (i.e., imperative commands kubectl run)
  • Home lab simulation – just create a kubernetes cluster at home so you can operate the latest kubernetes cluster. Again, the Udemy is using 1.16 and some commands have changed since then.
  • Learn vim/ vi and use alias (k = kubectl). Kubernetes cheat sheet has this.
  • Get familiar with kubernetes.io documentation – what to search and how it was structured.

That’s it. Goodluck!

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