What developers should learn about Kubernetes

kubernetes-ckad-color-1024x1004In this article, you will learn what you need to know to become an expert at Kubernetes. The curriculum for developers is outlined in the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) program.

It has been developed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), in collaboration with The Linux Foundation. These organizations provide certifications to demonstrate competence in Kubernetes for both software and for individual contributors, including administrators, developers, and security specialists. 

As you dive into Kubernetes, take a look at what the exams measure. The curriculum is published https://github.com/cncf/curriculum as a set of PDF that describe the high level concepts you will need the following CNCF exams:

  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
  • Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
  • Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

For developers, the exam certifies that you can design, build, configure, and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes. In this article, learn about the overall categories and some sample challenges you may see.

You will need to be comfortable using:

  • An OCI-Compliant Container Runtime, such as Docker or rkt.
  • Cloud native application concepts and architectures.
  • A programming language, such as Python, Node.js, Go, or Java.

The exam is a set of performance-based items (problems) to be solved in a command line and is expected to take approximately two (2) hours to complete.

As of this writing the exam curriculum includes these general domains and their weights on the exam:

  • 13% – Core Concepts
  • 18% – Configuration
  • 10% – Multi-Container Pods
  • 18% – Observability
  • 20% – Pod Design
  • 13% – Services & Networking
  • 8% – State Persistence

The Linux Foundation explains: 

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer can design build, configure and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes. A CKAD can define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications & tools in Kubernetes.
The exam assumes knowledge of, but does not test for, container runtimes and microservice architecture.

Sample challenges

Kim Wuestkamp explains, “CKAD is all about the practical experience with Kubernetes which I like about this certificate.” In his blog posts, he offers some challenges around what to study.

  1. Creating Pods
  2. Namespaces, Deployments and Services
  3. CronJobs and Volumes
  4. Deployment Rollout Rollback
  5. Secrets and ConfigMaps
  6. NetworkPolicy
  7. Service Migration
  8. (moved to CKA challenge series)
  9. Logging Sidecar
  10. Deployment Hacking
  11. SecurityContexts
  12. Various Environment Variables
  13. ReplicaSet without Downtime

The challenges offer tips and trick and let you know what your fingers need to be able to accomplish.

Next steps


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