Finally my last two months of preparation for the CKA exam is paid off , when i got this:
so after getting certified , i got lots of message from friends , colleagues around how to prepare for the exam , so this post is all about how to prepare for the exam , one of my friend in his blog (Blog Link) shared that this is manageable exam not as tough as people talk about and i totally agree with him that it is achievable with lots of practice and hard work on understanding the product.
About CKA Exam
The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program was created by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), in collaboration with The Linux Foundation, to help develop the Kubernetes ecosystem. Kubernetes is one of the highest velocity open source projects and is exploding. CNCF offers a certification program that allows users to demonstrate their competence in a hands-on, command-line environment. The purpose of the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program is to provide assurance that CKAs have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes administrators.
CKA is an online, proctored, performance-based test that requires solving multiple issues from a command line.this certification focuses on the skills required to be a successful Kubernetes Administrator in industry today. This includes these general domains and their weights on the exam:
- Application Lifecycle Management 8%
- Installation, Configuration & Validation 12%
- Kubernetes Core Concepts 19%
- Kubernetes Networking 11%
- Kubernetes Scheduling 5%
- Kubernetes Security 12%
- Kubernetes Cluster Maintenance 11%
- Kubernetes Logging / Monitoring 5%
- Kubernetes Storage 7%
- Kubernetes Troubleshooting 10%
How to Prepare – My Way of Preparation
First to prepare for the exam , ensure that you deploy a LAB , without LAB and practice you can not pass the exam no way!!. for Lab i followed below:
You need three virtual machines , so deploy a Lab with three nodes, can be easily setup on a laptop/desktop with virtulization software like VMware Workstation or Virtual Box etc..
- Deploy Kubernetes using “Kubernetes the Hard Way” , this will help you understand communication between nodes and what all components makes kubernetes.
- Understand Kubernetes Architecture Components in Detail.
you can also choose above or can deploy on one of your favourite public or private cloud environments. once Lab is ready , i would suggest kubernetes.io is the best resource for preparation of this exam, since in exam you are allowed to open “kubernetes.io” , so preparation from this website is going to help you in the exam also. I prepared using “kubernetes.io” website. all though i would suggest that you follow each and every page of this website and here are few links on which i focused more for the exam:
Understand and Managing container state using Deployment
- Replica Sets
- Daemon Sets
Rolling Updates and Rollback
- Jobs and Cronjobs
Deep understanding about Services
- DNS for Services and Pods
Detailed understanding about Volumes
- Volumes and Persistent Volumes
- Config Maps
- Assigning Pods to Nodes
- Taints and Tolerations
- Organising Cluster Access using kubeconfig files
Most Important – Lots of Practice and….
- kubectl Cheat Sheet
Time management is the Key
time management is very important during this exam. CKA exam is 3 hour exam, its is very important to be careful and to pace yourself on the questions so as not get stuck on one question for too long. The exam environment (i.e. ssh session) runs in Google Chrome with a specific extension and can be laggy and slow at times. In addition, I noticed myself spending way too much time trying to select text and running into various UI issues , be prepared and have lots of practice in your labs. there is no way you can successfully clear the exam if not practicing a lot.
The day of the exam
Here are the few Tips for the Exam:
Before the exam, the examiner will ask you to clean your desk completely.
The place should be quiet because even if you work with headphones you will not be allowed to use them and for next three hours no body will be allowed in the room.
- The examiner will ask you to see all the room, even under the desk.
- The examiner will not talk to you by voice, only by chat. He/she will hear you because you will need to share the screen and micro phone.
- The exam happens in a Chrome tab, the left side will show you the questions and the percentage marks of the questions.The right side is for the shell, I tried to use tmux ( i would suggest not to use ) there, but it was pretty difficult inside a browser terminal. You can also have a popup with notes.
- You can only open a tab with kubernetes.io and use its search box, no Google or anything .
- It’s ok to request a brake, but be very careful because the time doesn’t stop.
- You have three hours to finish the exam, if you get blocked it’s better to skip that question for now and retake it later.
So, that’s it from me. If you are interested in Kubernetes and you work with it go ahead and prepare for it and once you are certified , you will be proud on you because this certification really does carry the weight it implies and the real-world, live cluster examination is a nail-biter. i like the way CNCF measuring this competency using a Live Lab exam than a multiple choice exam. Best of Luck!!!