How I got CKAD certified — my preparation journey

I sat for my Certified Kubernetes Application Developer(CKAD) exam yesterday afternoon and today I got the email that I have cleared the CKAD certification. So I thought it will be good to share the experience of my preparation journey and the strategies I used to crack it. Let’s get started.



Since I have been working on developing and deploying application on kubernetes for about 2 years now, I decided it was about right time for me to go and attempt the certification as I know and have worked with basic components of a kubernetes cluster.

I started with checking out the course curriculum and made two list of topics, the one that I use on daily basis and other one that I need to focus more on.

YAML files and VIM Editor: While in daily work, we use yaml files to create a kubernetes resources, in the exam its important to use imperative commands for more often wherever possible to save time with editing yaml file. In Linux , default editor is VIM so its imperative to get familiar with shortcuts of vim editor. Here are some of the keyboard shortcuts which I used during the exam:

Set Autocompletion and aliases:

The exam terminal does not have auto-completion available so at start of exam its important to set the same so that it saves a lot of time during the exam. I also made some vi editor settings into my vimrc file :

Familiarization with kubernetes documentation: If you’re friends with kubernetes docs then its a very effective way to resolve any problem encountered during preparation and also during the exam as it covers each concept in detail with examples. The bookmarking of URLs is allowed during the exam. I would recommend you’ll to get friendly with various sections of the documentation right from the beginning of your preparation. I used the docs for topics where imperative commands were not useful like for creating Persistent Volumes, Persistent Volume Claim, Network Policies etc.

On the Exam day: Try to remain as calm as possible on the exam day and take a good night sleep before it. The exam proctor was really helpful to all my queries before and also during the exam. Keep your desk clutter free and read the questions carefully before starting to attempt.

Some version specific points:
1. I gave my exam for kubernetes version v1.21+, in this version kubectl run ONLY works for pod creation and for every other thing like deployment, job, cron job etc use kubectl create imperative command.

2. Also, —label flag does not work anymore with <kubectl create > command and is deprecated. Instead we can use <kubectl label> command to update the label on existing kubernetes resource.

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