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Matthias πŸ€–
Matthias πŸ€–

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Preparing for Kubernetes Application Developer certification (CKAD)

A few weeks ago I decided to get a certification.

In my job I focus on web development (backend and frontend), primarily with Node.js and TypeScript but I also am responsible for deploying applications in our hosted Kubernetes cluster. I also support other teams when they have Docker or Kubernetes related issues. There are also some legacy applications which run inside an Apache Tomcat servlet container or being shipped through a Apache2 webserver.

When I was looking for an appropriate certification, I found the Kubernetes Application Developer certification (CKAD).

The purpose of the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification is to provide assurance that CKADs have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of Kubernetes application developers. A Certified Kubernetes Application Developer can define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes.

The certificate's scope seems to be a very good fit for what I was looking for.

I asked my employer if they would pay for the exam (it cost only USD 300). When I got positive feedback about my plan, it was my take to start learning for the exam.

Here I want to share what I found out.

You have two hours to complete 19 questions. There are no multiple choice questions, only hands on work in a cluster which was created specially for your try.
The questions are separated in seven different domains (each of which has a different weighting):

  • Core Concepts (13%)
  • Configuration (18%)
  • Multi-Container Pods (10%)
  • Observability (18%)
  • Pod Design (20%)
  • Services & Networking (13%)
  • State Persistence (8%)

During the exam you are not allowed to browse any websites other than:

It is also forbidden to use devices other than the exam desktop, physical notes or notepads, books, mobile devices or manuals. So I guess it is a good idea to clean your desktop before starting the exam.

When I first read about this restrictions I was asking myself how they would check it. During your exam take you are monitored by a proctor via streaming audio, video, and screensharing feeds. There is no possibility to cheat, and you also shouldn't, because after two warnings by the proctor the exam will be terminated.

Sounds a bit scary right?
Anyway, I still want to get the certification, so here are some resources which will help me to prepare for the exam:

There are also some videos that are worth watching:

However, I think the most important thing is working with a real Kubernetes cluster.

I am really excited whether I will pass the exam or not. Luckily you have one free retake.

Do you have any other tips or advices for me? Please share your CKAD or CKA experience with me.

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Top comments (7)

johnmichael profile image

Thank you! I checked all the resources they are really helpful. I'd also recommend verified practice test for self-assessment. Practice test helped me in identifying my mistakes and made my CKAD exam preparation perfect.

jhawithu profile image
Alok Kumar

Very nice tips for CKA preparation. I also created a dedicated course on Udemy for CKA exam and more than 1k+ people get benefited

My CKA Course

scriptautomate profile image
Derek Ardolf

Thanks for all these resource links. I created a post going over tips for the Kubernetes exams, which can pair well as an extension of your post and may be helpful for those preparing for the CKAD or CKA (and I made sure to include a link to your article!):

robsongomes profile image
Robson Gomes

are you sure about the retake? I think you have pay it again.

matthias profile image
Matthias πŸ€–

I'm absolutely certain. Here is an excerpt from the official website: The cost is $300 and includes one free retake. For questions on the exam, please reach out to

mukul273 profile image

Yes, the 1 retake is free.

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