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CKAD Certification Guide


Recently I have successfully passed exam for Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) and I would like to share learning tips and tricks as well as resources that helped me prepare and pass the exam.

Let’s start by looking at resources. I used 3 resource to learn:

As always, google around and see what you can find for yourself, but I can definitely recommend those as good starting points. Ok, let’s look at some tips that I found especially useful.

During the exam you are required to demonstrate practical knowledge of kubernetes and all this under time pressure. Each second counts, so one of the most important tips that helped me were those about speed.

Make sure to setup alias for kubeclt and bash/zsh completion. This information is available on the kubernetes documentation page. It will help you be much faster with commands and most importantly completion sources pod and other kubernetes objects names that you don’t need to copy or type.

During the exam you can have one additional chrome tab open with kubernetes documentation page, kubernetes blog and GitHub artifacts for the page. It helped me to prepare bookmarks to quickly locate part of YAML to copy and paste to terminal.

You can get the bookmarks from my GitHub gist and import them into your browser! Best way is to clone the gist as I’m making minor updates.

A lot of exam tasks required editing existing YAML files and ability to use vim (in my case) or nano text editors quickly and efficiently is very important. There are plenty of pages with keyboard shortcuts.

Each question is “weighted” and for CKAD you have on average 6 minutes per question. If you find yourself stuck, it’s better to note question number in notepad available within the environment and come back to it later

It’s not as much a tip, but rather a reflection on the exam content that made me realize that I should have put more emphasis on certain topics. For me those were:

  • Network policies, I got stuck on this one.
  • Different ways of mounting config maps and secrets to pods. I think during the exam I saw all possible ways of mounting those objects to pods, volume mounts with hostPath, using environmental variables, mounts of whole objects, just values etc. It was pretty confusing and I spent a lot on the documentation page to look things up.

I’m not sure about you, but performance based exams always make me nervous and stress often gets best of me. It is helpful to remember that CKAD gives you one free retry, so even if you don’t pass first time, don’t worry.

I wish you best of luck in getting your CKAD certification!