An excerpt from Acing the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam by Chad Crowell
Are you interested in taking the CKA exam? It’s a big boon for your career and it isn’t exactly cheap, so you need to be prepared.
Read on to see how this book can help you prepare.
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Introducing the CKA Exam
Welcome to Acing the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already researched the exam and know what it is and perhaps even have it scheduled already. If not, don’t worry, we’ll talk about what the exam is and how to get signed up as soon as possible.
For those who are contemplating sitting for this exam, I’m glad you’ve decided to do it. Achieving the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification is quite an accomplishment and will help advance your career in a very big way. Also, you’ll be a part of a large group of individuals who hold this certification, including over 32,000 people worldwide. You might be asking yourself if it’s worth it, and to that, I would say yes, and here’s why:
- Kubernetes is going to be around for a long time.
- Kubernetes skills are in high demand.
- It’s hugely complex (for good reason), and provides real business value for cloud-native applications.
- Certifications, in general, help solidify your understanding and show that you are well-rounded and versed in the technology.
Now, let’s get into what the exam is all about. The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam is a competency test like no other. Instead of multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank type questions, this exam is entirely within a command-line environment on a Linux server, provided by the Linux Foundation (the exam provider). Yes, that’s right, they give a set of tasks to complete, and you execute the solution by typing in the commands inside the terminal. This is the entire exam experience, and you will have two hours to complete the 15-20 tasks of this nature. Once complete, you are graded on the outcome of your tasks, no matter which path you took to achieve the outcome. This means there may be more than one way to solve a given task and there’s also partial credit. Throughout this book, you will learn different ways of getting the same results, giving you more tools in your tool belt, to achieve a passing grade on this exam (which is a 66% or higher grade). You can also receive partial credit on any task, so this will help your success rate as well.
Throughout this book, we’ll address tips and tricks available for each topic within each chapter. This will tie in nicely to the application of your learnings, and give you the necessary skills to approach the exam with confidence. These exam tips, in combination with your determination and repeated practice, will lead to success in passing the CKA exam. I can’t emphasize enough how much muscle memory and putting in the practice will help your brain retain and access the appropriate Kubernetes when time comes for the exam. It is truly an exercise, so if you’re determined to pass the exam, I wouldn’t take too long of breaks in-between studying, especially if you aren’t working with Kubernetes daily. Don’t let this deter you though, we’re going to do this Kubernetes workout together!
The CKA exam is provided by the Linux Foundation and maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). It costs $375 as of the writing of this book, but check the updated pricing sheet for current prices and prices in other currencies by visiting the Linux Foundation website at https://training.linuxfoundation.org/.
I hope that you’re convinced that this exam is worth taking and that you can plan on achieving a lot more than just a piece of paper when you eventually pass (did I mention there was a free retake?).
What is a Kubernetes Administrator?
The role of a Kubernetes Administrator is twofold. A Kubernetes Administrator knows the inner workings of Kubernetes and knows how to translate that into value for the end-users. Here’s what a job posting for a Kubernetes Administrator might say: “The responsibility of a Kubernetes Administrator is to ensure that the company’s services meet the needs of the customers within the desired levels of reliability, performance, and availability by developing continuous improvements, tools, and automation. You must know how to install, configure, deploy, update, and patch each of the components of the Kubernetes infrastructure to ensure that services and underlying systems are properly monitored and have adequate observability. This includes identifying and monitoring proper KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to ensure service health, minimizing MTTA (Mean Time to Acknowledge) and MTTR (Mean Time to Repair).”
Let’s not sugar coat it, the difficulty level of the exam remains high, hence the need for this book. But you will start to realize the complexities of Kubernetes after reading this book, not only how to envision the complexities and how it relates to what you already know about engineering and technology, but also how to dig through the complexities to troubleshoot and determine the root cause for the actions within a Kubernetes Cluster.
What’s in store for you if you buy this book
This book will start you thinking like a Kubernetes Administrator, with the primary objective being to help you prepare for the CKA exam. Like I mentioned before, to pass this exam, you need to know a lot about the inner-workings of Kubernetes—which is exactly what you will learn from this book. You will learn all this via practical examples that mimic the real-world work that a Kubernetes Administrator might be called upon to do in the course of their job. By the time you’re done, you will have the skills you need to pass the CKA exam.
Who is this book for?
I’d like to take a moment to clear some things up and let you know the type of person who would be reading this book, and subsequently taking the CKA exam. This is not an introductory exam, therefore, it will take quite a bit of background knowledge about containers, and the Linux operating system. People who understand the benefits of containers but need to know how they work together inside of an orchestrated Kubernetes cluster are the target audience for this book. Also, most who sit this exam already are working with the technology in their job today, by either getting introduced to it via a new project, or cluster administration is already a primary function within their role. I’m not saying that people who are not working with Kubernetes won’t pass the exam, but getting direct exposure to real-world scenarios and using your knowledge in a hands-on fashion daily is more likely to lead to success.
In a nutshell, this book is for readers who know the basics of containers and Linux admin. No Kubernetes experience required. The CKA certification is highly sought, so if you want to add a major selling point to your resume, this is a good move.
To learn more, check out the book here.