Up until mid last year Kubernetes was not high on my radar and to be honest we did not have it as a focus area for the comdivision group. We don't really have any big internal development which at that point in time could have leveraged Kubernetes, neither did any of our customers back then really attempt to build anything cloud native thou creating demand.
Kubernetes for me was for long far more on the developer side up until I spent VMworld 2019 US and EMEA with enough VMware people up to a chat I had with Sanjay and Pat around the topic. It became more and more clear and imminent that this is a topic for our group.
Not that the comdivision strategy has changed, we work perfectly with other companies who do a much better job to develop enterprise solutions on cloud native stacks, but this needs to work/run somewhere and this is where we come back into play. Kubernetes, defining how the workloads are to be run, networked, secured etc. Whilst we do not develop them we need to provide underlying infrastructure, whether it is on-prem with vSphere, or in any of the major clouds where we need to at least attach security with NSX-T.
So for our @comdivision kick off which we hosted 2020 again in Fuerteventura we asked @VMware for help and they brought us the one and only Björn Brundert to bring the team into a Kubernetes mood, prepare us to become a cloud native partner.
The line was set and the plan was made, we would get at least 4 of us to become CKA certified and also build a practice around this topic within 1 year maximum.
How do we start, what do we do? Unlike many others I did not invest in a bunch of Rasberry PI's and build a blinking K8s Cluster on my desk. I went to several online classes and courses to learn Kubernetes. I still don't think I need to build this PI block, as my future K8s cluster will sit on our vSphere stack in our datacenter and somewhere in the cloud…
Let's get back to topic….
So training and prep:
To be honest the best I found online were those by Mumshad Mannambeth he has trained nearly 250.000 people already with his different Kubernetes classes available on Udemy and KodeKloud training. All of these with massive hands on labs and a course style I honestly prefer, a few minutes lecture and then hands on labs… Up until short of the exam I never prepared/created my own K8s cluster, as there are soo many great Hands On Labs in KodeKloud etc. that it was not making any sense. Towards the end I did it however.
The exam itself:
This is a complete practice exam, you will be given scenarios 20-24 is what they say, however nearly all I spoke with always had 24. And you are given 6 Kubernetes cluster, be prepared not all of them might be working.
The exam is completely online and at your home, while proctored via WebCam and Microphone, try to create an empty room for the exam speeds the initial start up.
Be prepared that at least when I scheduled the exam I needed to wait at least 24h before I could schedule it and that no weekend slots were available.
The exam itself, I found it fair, did not have much time over, but also did not feel time pressed, be sure to read the task, I am still not sure where I lost quite a bit of points.
Be aware that each task gives you it's individual weight, but don't target only for the 74% you need (yes you need 74% which is high).
You have access to kubernetes documentation, but be sure to understand only 1 Tab to be used and not to go on links outside of it.
What is covered, let's call it this way from simple pod and deployment setups over services, cluster troubleshooting, modifications, network setups, DNS etc. so all you normally need to know.
Is there anything I would not expect in day to day work? Not that I would think so… It was a fair practice exam and I guess near on daily business.
We @comdivision provide our team with the ability to grow, so the exams are covered as well as the education costs as part of our funds to grow our competencies… So this also tells me I will not stay for long the only one with a CKA cert under my belt…