Before we begin, just a short background of who I am, my name is Devon Patrick Adkins, by workday I am a AWS Support & Maintenance Team Lead, What distinguishes who I am, a 2x Cisco Champion 2021 & 2022, I am a AWS Community Builder, I love Mentoring and helping people grow themselves to unbelievable heights in the IT Industry & realizing their full potential. I am an Aspiring Astronaut and I believe nothing is impossible, when you work hard enough for it.
If you are reading this, then much like myself you are either new to the DevOps world and looking to transition into Cloud & DevOps Engineering or you perhaps have already started and looking to get certified, either way the one thing the Tech Community strives on more, so with AWS, is building together for Collaborated Success.
I speak of the Power of 5 (Motivation, Prepare for Battle, Recommendations, Building Self – Confidence & Consistency) If you follow these 5 steps in any exam you take, I believe you can accomplish anything!
In Order to achieve success with Kubernetes you need to have the POWER OF 5,
First up - Motivation
Kubernetes, it’s a buzz word I heard going around for a while, I recently started working with Azure and AWS and I would hear the term pop up AKS & EKS (Azure Kubernetes Service & Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service)
For the sake of the readers that do not yet know what Kubernetes is also known as K8s, is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.
It’s a skill that is quite high demand today, a quick search when writing this blog shows there are roughly 185 000 Jobs available on the market this minute that potentially use your expertise.
What’s fantastic about these roles are that they are often Remote based, meaning that you do not necessarily need to be confined to a single geographic area to land the job and let’s face it, most high paying jobs are typically closer to the Capital of your Countries. Most of these Jobs will be well above 6 Figures. Example link below:
With the above perks alone, I believe this is quite a strong motivational standpoint.
2. Prepare for Battle (Know what you are jumping into)
The Kubernetes exam is unlike any of the traditional IT Exams you have taken, most of which are likely to have been Multiple choice in nature. For a full run down on the exam visit, https://training.linuxfoundation.org/certification/certified-kubernetes-administrator-cka/
This exam is a performance-based lab, weighted on 15 – 20 questions in total on various domains.
First things first, before you purchase the exam or any training material for the exam, know that the exam itself is based on Ubuntu 20.x meaning that you will require to have at least a foundational level of Linux knowledge, these days, the general market loves to sell courses without the finer print in detail, in order to make a sale they will advertise zero to Kubernetes Hero, but before you purchase anything, follow a gameplan. The Kubernetes Exam actually requires the below as pre-requisites:
• Foundational / good understanding of the Linux OS
• Bash Scripting
• YAML (Yet another markup language)
• Docker / Containerd knowledge
Kubernetes is a DevOps tool that’s installed either to Ubuntu / CentOS / RedHat / Fedora
Check out Kubernetes.io for any other Operating Systems I may have missed.
What I would recommend is if you do not have any Linux Skills as yet, start with the LPI’s LPIC1 course or the CompTIA Linux + course, nowadays just about everything is run on a variant of Linux firmware and that will put you ahead of the game when it comes to Candidate Resume’s. If you a student and can’t afford to take the above exams, something that helped me quite earlier on was the Linux Survival Kit (This is an interactive Linux Playground) – it teaches you the basics of bash, Role Based Access Permissions and much more – Link: https://linuxsurvival.com/
For Learning YAML, JSON & Python I would recommend checking out the training from Juniper’s DevOps course, I actually took and passed this exam whilst it was on free promotion back in 2020, however it will teach you the exact skills you need to become fluent with YAML, JSON and Python – Link: https://www.juniper.net/us/en/training/certification/tracks/devops/jncia-devops.html
When it comes to Docker check out the TechWorld with Nana: (This course will give you a full understanding of what is docker and how to get yourself started building containers today) Nana is quite well known for her being a great DevOps Teacher.
These are just a few examples on how to get started for free. Remember the Finish line of getting Kubernetes certified is no easy journey and in order to start like I did, you HAVE to have your foundation skills on point. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to true victory.
Here is my list of go to courses once you have your foundations in place. 1st on the List is Mumshad Mannambeth’s CKA Course on Udemy.
Depending on your country of origin the price may differ however to use the dollar as an example the above course will cost you around $10, and its worth every penny of it.
You see not do you get a great Self – Based Video Course with practice tests, you get Hands-on-Labs access to KodeKloud’s CKA Environment.
What’s even more great is that if you get stuck on any of the content, he has solution video’s that proceed each lab, which start from the very basics of Pod creation to the more complex Troubleshooting Scenario’s. All just for $10, also I might mention, I am not paid to endorse the product it truly helped me.
For anyone that can afford the membership or perhaps like myself your workplace gives you a subscription to Acloud Guru, I would definitely advise you take their course. I actually started out with Acloud Guru as my primary study method, as they have a great mechanism of teaching you a concept and that making ascertain you understand the content by giving you a lab on the same subject matter once done explaining the topic. I found this really helped me understand all the topics discussed on their curriculum.
4.) Building Self – Confidence
I can stress enough how important it is to get into the habit of trusting yourself, the worst thing we can do today is by living in someone else’s reflection, this is a collision course, never compare yourself to anyone else, we all learn at different intervals, we must learn to stay focused, even if it means taking a break from social media.
Now you may ask how do I build self-confidence, first of all I never thought in a million years, when I saw how complicated Kubernetes looked back then, that I would be Kubernetes certified, for the first month of my studies, I still thought this was a multiple choice exam, boy, how wrong was I, nevertheless, believe me when I say this, anything is possible with hard work.
So here is how its done, MULTIPLE Resources, the internet is a powerful tool, use it as your weapon, after you have completed studying x2 Courses and you feel well versed, pick an exam date and stick to eat, because believe me, you can study till mankind reaches mars, there is no end to computer sciences.
Once you date is set, PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE More, the Kubectl commands will soon start becoming muscle memory much like myself, anything I could not remember, utilize the -h flag, not only does it provide you with a instructions on how to construct a specific statement, it will provide you examples as well! Also you have the Kubernetes.io documentation to refer to if you get lost. However practice makes perfect, when I got too the exam, I think I used the documentation only x4 times.
Killercoda, is a free CKA practice environment, by the same guys that develop killer.sh, they provide the mock exam simulators that you get for free when purchasing your CKA Exam voucher from the Linux Foundation.
Try these, until you have basically memorize each scenario like the back of your hand, I promise you it helps to know where to find specific log information, different ways of troubleshooting, it definitely helped me.
Lastly – Now I know I may get a few people who disagree with my statement, but the Killer.sh exams, I think are a great way for a returning Kubernetes Administrator that is looking to revalidate his certification to attempt, they are a lot harder then the actual exam and to be honest, it pushed my confidence to the floor, for first timers, I would say give it a run to become familiar with how the exam environment is gonna look, so you can familiarize yourself with the logistics of the exam, do you best to answer and learn from the questions, however do not study it religiously, you will kill your self-esteem this way. I did not score great on both my Killer.sh runs, but it got me comfortable to how the UI would be presented.
Earlier on I mentioned try set a gameplan and set a date, it took me 3 months to complete this course, however most my studying was done, an hour or 2 before work started and then studying the weekends away. If you are a student, you could possibly get the course done and be exam ready in 2 months. However, do not rush yourself, learn at your own pace. Consistency is very important, so if you set targets to study one hour a day stick to that, as well as the number of hours you set aside on the weekend, Kubernetes is almost similar to learning a language, and if you not practice it often you are bound to forget some of what you have learned and have to make up for that, with even further studying, which is basically killing time, Consistency is crucial to making it to the finish line.
I can assure you, if you follow these 5 simple rules, much like myself having Zero Kubernetes knowledge you too will become Kubernetes Certified. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!