CKA – Certified Kubernetes Administrator – Learning Resources

It seems many of us in the #vCommunity and #vExpert community are currently studying, or thinking about going for, the Certified Kubernetes Administrator credential.

The CKA exam is probably the hottest IT Certification right now across the industry. You can read all about it here.

Here are a collection of learning resources I have put together for myself. If you have suggestion of what to add to this list, I would love to hear them. I am especially interested in more experiential blog posts.

Besides this page, I have seen that Kubedex has also compiled its own very good list of CKA/SRE learning resources, have a look here:
https://kubedex.com/learn/
They very helpfully list in their description if it covers some, or all of the CKA topics.

Paid-For Courses

Kubernetes Fundamentals (LFS258)
The official Linux Foundation course. This course will give you a strong operating knowledge of Kubernetes, including how to deploy a containerized application and manipulating resources via the API. This course is designed as preparation for the Kubernetes Certified Administrator Exam. ~$300

Kubernetes Administration (LFS458)
Learn the core concepts typically used to build and administer a Kubernetes cluster in production using vendor-independent tools. $3250

VMware Kubernetes Foundations (Instructor Led)
https://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=89562

This two-day course is the first step in learning about Containers and Kubernetes. Through a series of lectures and lab exercises, the fundamental concepts of Kubernetes will be presented and put to practice by containerizing and deploying a two-tier application into Kubernetes.

https://www.udemy.com/course/certified-kubernetes-administrator-with-practice-tests/
I have heard from several people that this course is actually better than the official one provided by the Linux Foundation ~$200

https://acloud.guru/learn/kubernetes-deep-dive
Subscription based, many good courses here with a large focus on public cloud. Lots of excellent material here provided by Nigel Poulton

https://www.pluralsight.com/paths/kubernetes-administration
Subscription based. There are some excellent courses available here, at all levels. (free for vExperts)


Free Learning Resources

https://kubernetes.io/docs/home/
The home of Kubernetes itself, with its excellent reference documentation and examples.

VMware Kube Academy –  https://kube.academy/
Several hours of video courses,  beginner and in-depth theory

Especially look at this one: https://kube.academy/courses/how-to-prepare-for-the-cka-exam 

VMware TGI Kubernetes Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7bmigfV0EqQzxcNpmcdTJ9eFRPBe-iZa Over 100 episodes of in-depth exploration of Kubernetes and the k8s ecosystem

 https://github.com/David-VTUK/CKA-StudyGuide
A series of lab-exercises you can do yourself, focused in specific exam objectives 

https://github.com/kelseyhightower/kubernetes-the-hard-way/blob/master/README.md
The famous ‘Kubernetes the hard way’ by Kelsey Hightower. Set up k8s completely manually in Google Cloud, to understand the fundamentals.

The #cka-exam-prep channel in the official Kubernetes Slack is a great source of information and tips.
https://kubernetes.slack.com/archives/CA0HH2XTJ

Podcasts

https://kubernetespodcast.com/
By Craig Box and Adam Glick, from Google, features weekly news and an interview 

The Podlets https://thepodlets.io/
VMware podcast with mix of VMware and Ex-Heptio people. Deep-diving into a new k8s topic each week, or interviews with community leaders.   

https://cloudskills.fm/ ( by https://cloudskills.io )
Of note is episode 061, Interview with Nigel Poulton who’s k8s course material you will find all over the resources listed on this page.
(suggested by @MichaelCade1 )

Books

Managing Kubernetes
https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/managing-kubernetes/9781492033905/

While Kubernetes has greatly simplified the task of deploying containerized applications, managing this orchestration framework on a daily basis can still be a complex undertaking. With this practical book, site reliability and DevOps engineers will learn how to build, operate, manage, and upgrade a Kubernetes cluster—whether it resides on cloud infrastructure or on-premises.

Kubernetes Up and Running
http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920223788.do

Kubernetes radically changes the way applications are built and deployed in the cloud. Since its introduction in 2014, this container orchestrator has become one of the largest and most popular open source projects in the world. The updated edition of this practical book shows developers and ops personnel how Kubernetes and container technology can help you achieve new levels of velocity, agility, reliability, and efficiency.

Kelsey Hightower, Brendan Burns, and Joe Beda—who’ve worked on Kubernetes at Google and beyond—explain how this system fits into the lifecycle of a distributed application. You’ll learn how to use tools and APIs to automate scalable distributed systems, whether it’s for online services, machine learning applications, or a cluster of Raspberry Pi computers.

Blog Posts Relating to Exam Experience

And some more links:

https://dev.to/scriptautomate/tips-for-the-certified-kubernetes-exams-cka-and-ckad-49mn

https://myedes.io/cka-exam-tips/

https://davidstamen.com/2020/01/13/my-certified-kubernetes-administrator-cka-exam-experience/

https://medium.com/@imarunrk/certified-kubernetes-administrator-cka-tips-and-tricks-part-1-2e98e9b31de4

VMware Exam – VMware Cloud Native Master (CNMS) Specialist – 5V0-71.19


In addition to the CKA, VMware also has its own cloud-native Exam. This is a ~60 question multiple choice exam and covers not just k8s, but some of the k8s ecosystem tools.

https://www.vmware.com/education-services/certification/vmware-ms-cloud-native-exam-2019.html

The successful candidate has the knowledge and skills necessary to architect a Kubernetes-based platform supported by complimentary technologies from the Cloud Native ecosystem for continuous delivery of applications.

Read Christiaan Roeleveld blog post about this exam here: https://automate-it.today/vmware-cloud-native-master-specialist-exam/

Having CKA and CNMS certified people is of special interesting to VMware partners, as this is a prerequisite for the Cloud Native Master Services competency.

https://blogs.vmware.com/partner/2019/11/cloud-native-msc.html