New CKAD Guide — Kubernetes for Developers

Kubernetes-knowledgeable application developers–CKADs reap plenty of economic benefits.

Whether you’re new to the field or a seasoned developer, earning CKAD can help establish your cloud native career and prepare you to dive deeper into the many technical opportunities Kubernetes offers. This credential helps organizations recruit and retain open source talent with technical skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes application developers.

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer program is intended for developers to validate their competence and credibility in the competitive job market. CKADs can define application resources and use core primitives to design, build, and deploy cloud-native applications for Kubernetes.

When it comes to plotting your Kubernetes Certification path (CKAD), you have a lot to consider—from training courses to increasingly important considerations like practice labs, building Kubernetes clusters, deploying containerized applications, and so much more.

Good thing, this study guide is direct to the point, developed to help you become highly equipped for the CKAD exam with all the required resources. Read on to learn what you need to learn.

We’re assuming you are a developer. You have a favorite programming language, editor/IDE, and some experience developing applications.

CKAD — corequisite and resources

In CNCF guideline, the CKAD exam features a combination of formats. Exam lab questions/scenarios are problem-based that comprise a set of performance-based tasks to be solved in a hands-on, command-line environment aligned with the most recent K8s minor version.

  • Online, proctored exam
  • Kubernetes v1.25 Combiner
📚

CKAD Corequisite

The CKAD Exam requires a basic knowledge of container runtimes and microservice architecture. You should have:

  • Basic comfortability with Linux
  • YAML/JSON knowledge
  • VIM Editor
  • Basic Docker knowledge (not low-level)

CKAD Practice resources

Whether you’re interested in enrolling in a paid training course or getting started in something that’s free, the following resources will equip you to demonstrate your expertise in each of the general domains of the CKAD exam:

↳ Hands-on training

↳ Live projects

↳ Books

Before enrolling — or paying — for a course, look into its success with students. If you, however, feel that you might experience obstacles to punctuate your efforts as a beginner, consider CKAD learning program by KodeKloud — It includes a series of well-designed lectures with integrated hands-on lab experience, coding quizzes and illustrations to help you understand complex concepts without having to set up any lab environment yourself.

↳ Practice labs

↳ Cloud credits

More resources like Community forums, events, blogs, and podcasts (links) are nearly at the tail end of this article.

Tip – Don't depend on exam dumps and the free sources.

CKAD Exam domains based on open source curriculum

The open source exam curriculum includes the following domains:

CKAD - Exam Domains Weightage
Application Design and Build 20%
Application Deployment 20%
Application Observability and Maintenance 15%
Application Environment, Configuration and Security 25%
Services and Networking 20%

Let’s look at each domain below.


Application Design and Build — 20%

When designing and building an application, many requirements affect the patterns and architecture. With Kubernetes, one of the most powerful factors is the ability to scale horizontally — horizontal pod auto-scaling, increasing the number of identical copies of your application running in parallel to increase availability by distributing load.

The focus of this domain is on testing your ability to create small, composable applications that communicate over the network through well-defined APIs.

CKAD Guide
CKAD - Domain 1 | kanger.dev

Designing and building applications with scalability, portability, and robustness is challenging, especially as system complexity grows. Saturate your functional knowledge with cloud native principles and learn the concepts of how the microservice architecture and design pattern works well for scalable deployments.


Application Deployment — 20%

Deploying your application to production means you are exposing it to end users. Once we have a running Kubernetes cluster, we can deploy containerized applications on top of it.

This domain also entails a steep learning curve to understand how to implement deployment strategies for a successful rollout, including deployment configuration using the Kubernetes command-line interface Kubectl to create and update instances of your application with pod dependencies.

Kubernetes Certified Developer
CKAD - Exam Domain 2 | kanger.dev

Spin a production grade kubernetes cluster on DigitalOcean (using free credits) to learn types of deployment. When deciding between training courses or books, prioritize the program that will give you hands-on experience with deployments. This will help you determine the right deployment procedure and strategies to adopt based on the requirements.


Application Observability and Maintenance — 15%

Kubernetes observability goes far beyond collecting and analyzing logs, metrics, and traces from different components of the cluster; it has to be contextualized with every event for practical maintenance based on how the rest of the cluster functions at the event's time.

As your Kubernetes cluster grows, so does the complexity in observing and managing it. With free cloud computing credits, you can monitor any Kubernetes platform and integrate open source technologies hosted by the CNCF to collect K8s observability data—including OpenTelemetry, Prometheus, and Fluentd.

Kubernetes Developer Certification
CKAD - Exam Domain 3 | kanger.dev

You will be examined on the things of implementation, utilization and debugging to surface health and performance issues. Learning readiness, liveness and startup probes are strongly recommended. These probes are essentially health checks and it is better to understand how to use them than to forego them.


Application Environment, Configuration and Security — 25%

Kubernetes empowers developers to employ new architectures like microservices and serverless that require developers to think about the application environment for security and operations in a way entirely different from vertical scaling or single application stack.

Learning how to best leverage the features offered by container orchestration environments can be difficult, but as you learn the application building and deployment domains, it will become more clear how the operations practices align with the concepts the tooling is built around.

CKAD Exam Guide
CKAD - Domain 4 | kanger.dev

Learn how to best configure your application environment to better suit your application. It'll serve you very well — poring over the best DevOps practices for containerizing application components and learning the characteristics that make it possible to package your applications so that they run smoothly and securely on Kubernetes.


Services and Networking — 20%

With the advent of container orchestration technologies, things are different today. As a Kubernetes application developer, what services and networking knowledge do you need to be aware of in this cloud-native world of Kubernetes and containers? This domain requires foundational level knowledge of how multiple elements interact with each other in a cluster.

CKAD Exam
CKAD - Domain 5 | kanger.dev

Kubernetes is not necessarily easy to work with and it can be confusing for beginners. Familiarize yourself with the knowledge of the following topics in order to pass the exam.

  • Services and other Network Primitives
  • Ingress Controllers and Ingress Resources
  • Using Networking Policies

Critique — If you think of something that is not in this section but might be useful to others, please submit a critique.

CKAD — Community Resources

Allowed Resources

You may use the official resources while taking the exam, including sub-domains and translated pages.

Community, Forums and news

Join Kubernetes community to discuss your doubts and questions.

↳ Community
↳ Forum
↳ Social Groups
↳ Blogs and News
↳ Podcasts
↳ Careers

Got CKAD Questions?

CKAD Exam Guide
Image by Yi Liu / Unsplash

What is the CKAD program?

The CKAD—Certified Kubernetes Application Developer program has been developed by the reputable organizations in the Cloud Computing ecosystem, CNCF and The Linux Foundation, to help expand the Kubernetes ecosystem through standardized training and certification.


Are there benefits offered to CKAD professionals?

In addition to validating your technical expertise, CKAD gives you tangible benefits to help you showcase your achievement and further advance your Kubernetes expertise. It's a pretty fair bet to say that the CKAD program is well worth the time, effort and money for increasing career prospects.


Which CKAD course is right for me?

The CKAD is the easiest Kubernetes certification compared with CKA and CKAD. It's a cloud developer-friendly certification and if you want to get your hands dirty with implementation, there are high-quality courses you should consider. We recommend the Kubernetes Developer Course by The Linux Foundation and CKAD Training Course by KodeKloud for beginners.


Is CKAD for Admins?

CKADs don't administer containerized services or manage cluster configurations, but with exposure to Kubernetes architecture posses sound knowledge of how clusters work in order to troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes. Consider CKA for learning administration and management skills.


CKAD Exam Dumps — Is It Worth?

CKAD is a performance-based exam and the exam dumps will cripple your cognitive abilities to learn the important skills. Consider practice resources in this article to learn the hands-on skills you need to ace the exam with clear teaching and hands-on exercises that match the unique CKAD test environment.


Is the CKAD exam changing??

The current CKAD exam is based on the latest Kubernetes v1.25: Combiner release. The curriculum and exam environment should be updated after the next major Kubernetes release, so there's much time. More information on the current enhancements, patches and next software release are in the Kubernetes project release branches.


What is the requirement to earn CKAD?

CKAD is a performance-based exam and 66% is the passing scaled score on a 2 hour online, proctored exam.


TL;DR?

CKAD is a practical hands-on exam. Educating yourself on Cloud Native application concepts plays a key role in furthering your cloud career and receiving not only a higher salary, but a more engaging position.

We hope this was helpful to you, and we wish you good luck for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Exam.

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