Kubernetes or K8 is an open-source system used for automating processes like software deployment, scaling, and management. Originally developed by Google, Kubernetes is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Kubernetes is used to group parts of applications, known as containers, into logical groups so that they are easy to manage and discover. Kubernetes has become a highly popular specialized skill in agile methodology because of its many benefits like faster deployment, cost savings, etc.
Currently, Kubernetes administrator is one of the highest-paid job positions in the software industry. Consequently, several aspiring and experienced software professionals have taken up Kubernetes Certification training to become specialists in this tool. But since it is a new tool, there is still a lot of ambiguity around it. So, let us take a look at how difficult it is to get a certification in Kubernetes and what exactly you will learn in the certification training.
Types of Kubernetes Certification
There are three main Kubernetes certifications:
- Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) aims to certify engineers who can design, configure, build, and expose cloud-native applications using Kubernetes.
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) aims to certify users who are able to fulfill the fundamental responsibilities of a Kubernetes administrator. These responsibilities include installing, configuring, and managing production-grade Kubernetes clusters in an application.
- Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) is an advanced certification that aims to certify the skills necessary to secure container-based applications and other Kubernetes platforms during the different phases of application development- build, deployment, and runtime. However, a CKS certification requires a CKA certification as a prerequisite.
Among the two basic certifications, the CKAD exam is easier, and the CKA certification is slightly tougher. However, if you really want to learn Kubernetes in-depth, then you should go for the CKA certification. So, let us look at the details of the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam and how to crack it easily.
Kubernetes Administrator Exam Structure
The total duration of the CKA exam is 2 hours. The number of questions may vary. Usually there are between 15 to 20 questions. The test consists of questions from 5 categories:
- Cluster architecture, Installation and configuration: carries 25% of the total marks
- Workloads and scheduling: carries 15% of the total marks
- Services and Networking: carries 20% of the total marks
- Storage: carries 10% of the total marks
- Troubleshooting: carries 30% of the total marks
The examination fee is 300$.
The main difference between this exam and other certification exams is that it allows us to take one break (although the timer doesn’t stop), allows us to keep a glass of water on the table, and even allows us to use a second monitor, an external keyboard and a mouse. But the biggest highlight is that we are allowed to open another browser where we can refer to the official Kubernetes documentation to find answers to the questions. This much liberty is not allowed in most certification exams.
So, although the CKA exam is tough in terms of the topics and questions covered, the exam is very liberal and easy with sufficient preparation.
How to crack the CKA exam
Let us look at what steps you must take to clear the CKA exam in the fastest and easiest way.
Know the curriculum well
At the very beginning of your preparation itself, you must have a fair idea of the topics that must be covered for the exam. Kubernetes official website contains the curriculum that you can follow along with useful documentation. All these valuable resources are available free of cost. So, aspirants of Kubernetes certification must use the curriculum as a roadmap to create their study plan or the exam. However, apart from the free resources, it is important to refer to some quality training materials in order to guarantee success in the exam.
Go through the resources multiple times
Whatever preparation material or online resources you use for your studies, make sure that you go through them multiple times until the concepts are clear in your mind. It is beneficial to have experienced mentors to guide you through the preparation and answer your queries. Remember that the Kubernetes certification exam is an open book exam. However, you need to be fairly acquainted with the Kuberneticss documentation to be able to find the answers quickly.
Having a mentor is a decisive factor in clearing almost any challenging exam. CKA is no different. For this, you can connect with certified professionals or enroll in a Kubernetes certification training program conducted by industry experts.
Making short notes while reading course materials or watching course videos will help expedite your preparation process significantly. If you note down important points, these notes can act as valuable revision material that can save you a lot of time. Taking notes need not be done with a pen and paper anymore. You can use word processing tools or online resources to note down important parts in your resources and refer to them later.
It is important to gain sufficient subject matter expertise and confidence in your test-taking abilities before you take your actual exam. The best way to do this is to attempt multiple mock tests during your revisions. This will familiarize you with the exam structure and help in better time management. Most reputed certification training programs offer mock tests and feedback in their training package. These will help you get an idea of where you stand in terms of exam readiness and make plans for further improvement.
Simplilearn offers an online Boot camp by the name ‘Container Orchestration using Kubernetes.’ This course contains hands-on projects and examples to sharpen your understanding of the CKA exam pattern and questions. If you aspire to be a Kubernetes expert and boost your career in Agile, enroll for this course today!