Certified Kubernetes Application Developer exam preparation

How to Prepare for Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam?

The introduction of containers provided an exceptional boost to the field of application development. While the majority of the discussion regarding containerization technology used to focus on Docker only in the initial days, Kubernetes has also garnered substantial popularity in recent times. If you are looking for resources for certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation, then you have arrived at the right place.

Kubernetes has emerged as a promising container orchestration platform preferred by many enterprises for automating the management of containerized applications. Most important of all, enterprises adopting DevOps approaches are more likely to use Kubernetes. According to the 2018 cloud predictions by Forrester Research, Kubernetes has clearly emerged as a winner among different tools for container orchestration. 

Enroll Now: Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Online Course

The following discussion would help you know the important details about one of the recognized Kubernetes certifications. Candidates aspiring for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam can find the following discussion helpful. The important information covered here can help in CKAD exam preparation. Readers can find basic information about the exam, along with a detailed outline of the exam objectives. Subsequently, readers could also find the important steps for effective certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation. If you’re preparing to become a Certified Kubernetes Administrator, you can check out our preparation guide for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam.

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Certification Exam

Before you start certified Kubernetes application developer training, it is highly essential to know about the exam. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) developed the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification exam in collaboration with The Linux Foundation. The primary objective of the certification program is the expansion of the Kubernetes ecosystem by leveraging standardized certification and training.

The CNCF recognizes the value of certification in supporting the growth of a community of application developers specializing in Kubernetes. The CKAD certification can help application developers prove their value and credibility in the job market. In addition, the certification is also helpful for enterprises to hire competent professionals to foster their growth. 

Target Audience for the CKAD Exam 

The objective of certified Kubernetes application developer training should comply with the basic objective of the exam. The CKAD exam tests the abilities of users in designing, developing, configuring, and exposing cloud-native applications for Kubernetes. The ideal target audience for this exam involves a candidate aspiring to prove skills in the definition of application resources.

The candidates should also have an interest in showcasing skills for using core primitives in building, monitoring, and troubleshooting scalable applications and tools on Kubernetes. Basically, the CKAD exam primarily aims at verifying that certified candidates have the required knowledge, experience, and skills for performing the responsibilities of Kubernetes application developers. 

Read our previous article to know about top Kubernetes tips and tricks that will make it easy for you to learn Kubernetes.

Requirements for the CKAD Exam

Candidates should know the important requirements for the exam before starting their CKAD exam preparation schedule. The prerequisites for the exam establish the capabilities of the candidate to take on the exam. You can think of the recommended requirements for the exam as vital support for your readiness for the CKAD exam. The candidates for the CKAD exam should have fluency in the following.

  • Cloud-native application concepts and architectures
  • OCI-Compliant Container Runtime such as rkt or Docker
  • At least one programming language such as Java, Python, Go or Node.js

Most important of all, the certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation of candidates should focus on preparing in a hands-on, command-line environment. The exam also implies the requirements for having knowledge regarding microservices architecture and container runtimes. 

Basic Exam Details

The next crucial information for candidates to ensure the best possible training for the CKAD certification exam refers to exam details. Candidates will have to appear for the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam in an online, proctored environment. The exam would include various performance-based tasks, and candidates will have to solve the problems in the tasks in a command line.

The total duration of the exam is 2 hours. Candidates will have to pay a registration fee of $300 to take the exam, and it also includes the option of one free retake. Awareness of such basic information can help candidates with certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation effectively. 

Kubernetes online training course

Domains Covered in the CKAD Exam 

The next important concern that candidates should take into account in a certified Kubernetes application developer preparation guide refers to the exam objectives. Candidates should know about the topics they have to study for an exam to prepare effectively for it. Actually, candidates can find the exam objectives in the outline of exam domains that reflect the abilities tested in an exam. Here are the important domains covered in the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam.

  • Core Concepts
  • Configuration
  • Multi-container Pods
  • Observability
  • Pod Design
  • Services and Networking
  • State Persistence

In addition to the exam domains, candidates also need more information to ensure the best results from certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation. Candidates should know about the subtopics and weighting of each domain. Why? The knowledge of subtopics and the weighting of each domain can help candidates in ensuring an organized preparation schedule. Furthermore, the impression of the weighting for each domain can help candidates in distributing their preparation efforts for different domains. Let us find out what’s in store in each domain of the CKAD certification exam.

Domain 1: Core Concepts

The first domain of the CKAD exam accounts for 13% of the total questions in the exam. The subtopics covered in this domain include the following,

  • Understanding Kubernetes API primitives
  • Creation and configuration of basic Pods

Domain 2: Configuration

The second domain in the CKAD certification exam deals with configuration. This domain accounts for almost 18% of the questions in the exam. The subtopics covered in this domain are as follows,

  • Understanding ConfigMaps
  • Understanding SecurityContexts
  • Definition of an application’s resource requirements
  • Creation and consumption of Secrets
  • Understanding ServiceAccounts

Domain 3: Multi-Container Pods

This domain is significant for certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation as it accounts for 10% of questions in the exam. The subtopics covered in this domain are as follows,

  • · Understanding Multi-Container Pod design patterns such as sidecar, ambassador or adapter

Also Read: Top 10 interesting Kubernetes Facts

Domain 4: Observability

The topic of observability is also a prominent domain in the CKAD exam. Candidates can see it clearly that the domain accounts for almost 18% of the total questions in the exam. The subtopics covered in this domain are as follows,

  • Understanding LivenessProbes and ReadinessProbes
  • Understanding container logging
  • Understanding the approaches for monitoring of applications in Kubernetes
  • Understanding debugging in Kubernetes

Domain 5: Pod Design

This is undoubtedly one of the crucial domains in any certified Kubernetes application developer study guide. The domain accounts for almost 20% of the total questions in the CKAD certification exam. The subtopics covered in this domain are as follows,

  • Understanding deployments and the methods for performing rolling updates
  • Understanding the methods to perform rollbacks
  • Understanding Jobs and CronJobs
  • Understanding the methods to use Labels, Annotations, and Selectors 

Domain 6: Services and Networking

The domain of services and networking in the CKAD certification exam is highly crucial and accounts for 13% of total questions in the exam. The subtopics covered in this domain are as follows,

  • Understanding Services
  • Demonstration of basic understanding regarding NetworkPolicies

Domain 7: State Persistence

The final domain of the CKAD certification exam deals with State Persistence. This domain accounts for 8% of the total questions in the exam. The subtopics covered in this domain include,

  • Understanding PeristentVolumeClaims for storage

After observing all the domains and subtopics in each domain, candidates could gain confidence for approaching their exam preparations. As you all know, knowledge and surety about the path ahead is the foremost determinant of an individual’s confidence to take the first step. So, now it is time for candidates to get ready and learn about the best practices to prepare for CKAD certification exam.

Also Read: Why DevOps and Kubernetes are a Perfect Match?

Preparation Guide for Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Certification Exam

Now, many readers might be expecting some sort of magical guide for certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation. However, candidates should know that the trick to successful preparation is accountability and dedication. If you follow the best practices recommended by subject matter experts and the tips by qualified CKAD professionals, you have better chances of qualifying the exam in the first attempt. 

  • Visit the Official Certification Page

One of the first things that every candidate should do is to visit the official CNCF website. The CNCF website is the ideal source for candidates to verify all information about the CKAD exam. No matter how authentic different sources of information about the CKAD exam may be, the official certification page is always the first source of information.

Most important of all, the official certification page provides not only information about the CKAD exam but also the help full support. Candidates can find an overview of the curriculum and a candidate handbook on the official certification page. Furthermore, candidates can also find the answer to some frequently asked questions about the CKAD exam before starting their exam preparations. 

  • Start With the Kubernetes Basics

The next important pointer for candidates to prepare for the CKAD certification exam is to learn about the basics of Kubernetes. One of the reliable and highly recommended sources for learning the basics of Kubernetes is “Kubernetes for Developers” recommended by The Linux Foundation.

The official training course is ideal for preparing the foundation to tackle performance-based certified Kubernetes application developer questions. The basics of Kubernetes primarily deal with the architecture of Kubernetes and its functionalities such as building, designing, security, and deployment configuration. 

  • Create a Kubernetes Cluster

After completing their training in the basics of Kubernetes, candidates should focus on the creation of the Kubernetes cluster. Even though it is not mandatory for certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation, it helps in achieving hands-on knowledge about the working of Kubernetes.

Candidates should try to create a cluster on their own different times to gain a comprehensive picture of Kubernetes functionality. In addition, candidates can also understand the ways in which different components of Kubernetes work with each other. 

  • Practice Till You Achieve Perfection

The importance of practice for developing fluency for certified Kubernetes application developer questions is undoubted. After learning the basic concepts of Kubernetes and creation of a Kubernetes cluster, candidates have to utilize CKAD sample exercises.

GitHub is an exceptional source to avail of different sample exercises for the Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam. Candidates should use sample exercises for developing their familiarity with the kubectl command line. Candidates will have limited time during the exam to read the document for using kubectl command line. So, if you are already familiar with the command line, then you can have better chances of qualifying the exam.

If candidates forget anything related to the command line, they can use support through commands such as kubectl –h and kubectl run –h for finding resources. Another important concern for candidates for their practice during preparation for the CKAD exam is the use of kubectl command. Candidates can utilize kubectl for the creation of resources such as secret, deployment, configmap, cronjobs, service, and others.

As a result, candidates don’t have to use manifest files for creating resources during the exam, thereby saving a considerable amount of time. For cases where candidates have to edit the manifest, they can use ‘dry-run’ and ‘-o yaml’ for saving the yaml file and then edit the manifest files. 

Salary of Certified Kubernetes Application Developer

The most important factor that can drive the motivation of a candidate to pursue their preparation for the CKAD certification exam with dedication is the certified Kubernetes application developer salary. The average estimate for a Kubernetes related job is $144,648. Therefore, the expected certified Kubernetes application developer salary would range between $78,000 and $215,000. 

Preparing for a Kubernetes interview? Here are the top Kubernetes interview questions with detailed answers that you should read to crack your Kubernetes interview.

Ready to Prepare For Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Exam?

With all the information presented here, you can start your certified Kubernetes application developer exam preparation right now! However, candidates should also note the important pointers to follow during the exam. Candidates should ensure a stable internet connection to avoid disruptions in their exam due to lagging.

You should refer to the certified Kubernetes administrator preparation guide also for finding official resources to master the kubectl command-line and ensure that you can configure kubectl auto-completion. Candidates should also know how to use the notepad in the browser terminal during the exam. The notepad can help you in saving the numbers of questions you skip during the exam alongside their percentages.

As a result, you can cover the maximum questions possible in the exam without being stuck on specific questions. Most important of all, candidates should prepare for the exam environment by ensuring that there is no one in the room other than the candidate. Candidates should have the ID prepared along with a webcam, microphone, and Chrome or Chromium browser opened on their desktop. Finally, candidates should stay calm and take adequate rest before the exam to score better chances of qualifying the exam! 

About Dharmalingam N

Dharmalingam.N holds a master degree in Business Administration and writes on a wide range of topics ranging from technology to business analysis. He has a background in Relationship Management. Some of the topics he has written about and that have been published include; project management, business analysis and customer engagement.

1 thought on “How to Prepare for Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Exam?”

  1. Gopesh Khandelwal

    Hi Neeru,

    Thanks for this detailed article. I have a quick question. If an exam question doesn’t tell about the namespace then which namespace should we use for the answer?


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