CNCF Tool Interview Series(Episode 05): KubeAstronaut ft. Trung

The Interview

🎙️Interviewer: Welcome back to our CNCF Tool Interview Series Episode 05! Today, we’re exploring the concept of becoming a KubeAstronaut with our special guest, Trung . Trung, almost a KubeAstronaut, joins us to talk about his experience. He has earned all five certifications and is waiting for his CNCF KubeAstronaut badge.

Dear Readers, this is going to be a bit of a lengthy interview, but I encourage you to keep reading until the end. Each word is really important for those who are going to take on any of these certifications related to Kubernetes at some point.

💡 Insight for our readers: The Kubestronaut program honors community leaders who are dedicated to continuous learning and advancing their Kubernetes skills. Those who complete all CNCF Kubernetes certifications – CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA, and KCSA – earn the title "Kubestronaut." Along with this prestigious title, they receive additional benefits.

🎙️Interviewer: Trung, welcome to the series! For those who might not be familiar, can you introduce yourself and share a bit about your journey to becoming a KubeAstronaut?

👤Trung: Hello (xin chào) 👋 , I am Trung Tran from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I am a Cloud Architect and DevOps consultant with a decade of experience in this industry. Thank you for having me in this interview.
It took me two and a half years to reach this milestone. I first met Mumshad through the CKAD exam prep course a few years ago and have been following KodeKloud through the Kubestronaut learning path (CKA, CKS, KCNA, and finally KCSA). What a long and joyful journey it has been!

The Significance of Kubernetes Certifications in Trung's Journey

🎙️Interviewer: That’s impressive, Trung! Can you elaborate on the significance of these LF certifications and how they contribute to your expertise in the Kubernetes ecosystem?

👤Trung: Passing all five Kubernetes certifications is an outstanding milestone and achievement for me. Each certification focuses on different aspects of the Kubernetes ecosystem. I enjoyed the learning journey for each one, the friends I met along the way, and the confidence gained with each exam I passed. Since my daily job heavily involves using Kubernetes, I am happy that I am actively skilling up day by day.

Trung's Approach to KCNA

🎙️Interviewer: Trung! Let's dive into each certification. Starting with the KCNA, how did you approach this certification, and what foundational knowledge is essential for aspiring candidates?

👤Trung: Actually, the KCNA was introduced by CNCF after the other three certifications (CKA, CKAD, CKS). By the time it was introduced, I had already passed the other three exams. So, my approach to this exam was a bit different. I aimed to testify to my expertise with Kubernetes and challenge myself with the first MCQ Kubernetes exam. I scored 93/100 on this exam, thanks to the KodeKloud’s KCNA exam prep course. This exam also showed me areas of knowledge that I need to learn and improve.

💡 Insight for our readers: You can check out the KodeKloud's KCNA certification preparation course here.

Kubernetes and Cloud-Native Associate (KCNA) | KodeKloud

Overcoming Challenges in the CKA : Trung's Experience

🎙️Interviewer: Moving on to the CKA, what were the key challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?

👤Trung: This was a tough one. One challenge I faced during the exam was the backup and restore task related to Kubernetes ETCD component. I somehow messed up the exam environment and spent a lot of time on just a single question. However, before sitting for the exam, I practiced a lot in the KodeKloud labs. With only one hour left, I managed to complete the remaining questions and achieved a good score. So, PRACTICE is the key (so that you can solve the challenge quickly in the short time constraint)!

💡 Insight for our readers: Trung emphasized the importance of practice. Here is the KodeKloud Lab environment for those currently working towards their CKA.

Public playgrounds
Playgrounds are sandboxed Cloud and DevOps environments for you to experience without fear of failure.
CKA Certification Course – Certified Kubernetes Administrator | KodeKloud
Prepare for the Kubernetes Administrators Certification (CKA) with live practice tests right in your browser

Preparing for the CKAD: Insights and Tips

🎙️Interviewer: The CKAD certification emphasizes application development. How did you prepare for this, and what are the critical areas of focus for candidates?

👤Trung: I have a strong background in application development before moving to the DevOps and Cloud domain. This made me feel comfortable and excited about the CKAD exam, as it gave me a clearer picture of how to build applications that are well-compatible with Kubernetes. I also learned a lot of different tools and techniques that can be applied to real-world applications.
To prepare for this exam, I utilized the KodeKloud CKAD exam preparation course. The content is well-aligned with the exam curriculum, and the labs are perfectly at the exam level. After completing the course and the labs (I repeated all labs and mock exams at least 2-3 times), the real exam became much easier.
For those who want to take this exam, CNCF publishes the exam curriculum with a very clear outline (some outstanding topics are Helm, Deployment, CronJob, ConfigMap, Volume…). Make sure to thoroughly understand that, then practice and practice a lot with labs and mock exams.

💡 Insight for our readers: Trung mentioned that he did the KodeKloud CKAD exam labs and mock exams 2-3 times. I'm including the link to the CKAD course here for those interested or taking the exam in the next few weeks.

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) | KodeKloud

CKS: Key Topics and Preparation Strategies

🎙️Interviewer: The CKS certification is all about security. What specific topics did you find most important, and how did you ensure you were well-prepared?

👤Trung: This exam is widely regarded as the toughest Kubernetes exam and one of the most challenging exams out there. The passing score is higher, and the questions are tougher. The way the questions are structured is a bit different—the tasks are not spoon-feeding questions like those in the CKA or CKAD exams. You really need to understand Kubernetes very well and all the tools and techniques required in the exam to apply them effectively.
A lot of topics need to be covered in the CKS exam, but from my own experience, you need to be really good with Kubernetes Network Policy, RBAC, Pod Security Admission, and other security tools like Falco, Seccomp, and AppArmor. The topics in the exam change frequently to keep up with the latest Kubernetes versions, so always check the exam curriculum on GitHub for the latest updates.

Trung's Guide to the KCSA Certification

🎙️Interviewer: Lastly, the KCSA certification. How does it differ from the others, and what are the key components required to achieve it?

👤Trung: The KCSA is quite similar to the KCNA, as both are multiple-choice exams. However, it remains a tough challenge. You need to be proficient in Kubernetes and familiar with best practices, frameworks (STRIDE, NIST), and open-source projects (TUF, OPA, Falco) related to security and compliance in the IT industry.
I utilized AI extensively while preparing for this exam. I asked ChatGPT to generate questions based on the topics I provided, then I answered them, and ChatGPT helped me score my responses. It was a great experience.

💡 Insight for our readers: Here's a helpful tip for everyone. You can use ChatGPT to generate questions and test your knowledge as an additional preparation step, just like Trung did. For example, you could use prompts like, "I am studying for the KCSA Certification. Generate 20 multiple-choice questions on the following topics."

🔈I'm excited to share some news: The KodeKloud KCSA course will be published soon! Unitl then, KodeKloud CKS course will be helpful.

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) | KodeKloud

KodeKloud's Impact on Trung's Certification Success

🎙️Interviewer: Trung, just before this interview, while we were in the makeup room, you mentioned something intriguing: "I took KodeKloud courses to achieve all five certifications." Could you share how KodeKloud courses have been instrumental in your success? How did these courses prepare you for the certifications, and what aspects of the training did you find most beneficial?

👤Trung: Yes, exactly. I took all my Kubernetes courses—CKAD, CKA, CKS, and KCNA—on the KodeKloud platform and passed my exams on the first try. With the KCSA exam being quite new and the course not yet public, I utilized parts of the CKS course, the Kubernetes official documentation, and AI (as I shared above) to prepare for the exam.
The most beneficial part of learning on the KodeKloud platform is the ability to learn by doing. I could instantly jump into the hands-on labs after completing a video section, allowing me to practice what I just learned without the effort of setting up a cluster and adjusting configurations for different situations. After clearing all the Kubernetes exams, I can confirm that hands-on practice is key for both the exams and real-world projects, and with KodeKloud, you can do that with ease.

The Impact of Becoming a KubeAstronaut on One's Career

🎙️Interviewer: As you’ve gone through this journey, how has becoming a KubeAstronaut impacted your career and professional growth?

👤Trung: As I answer these questions, I am not yet officially a Kubestronaut (I need to wait a few days for CNCF to confirm my status), but I am eagerly anticipating my Kubestronaut blue jacket.
I took my first Kubernetes exam three years ago and have been continuously learning and improving myself day by day. Becoming a Kubestronaut is an outstanding reward after years of hard work, but what I enjoyed the most was the learning journey. I met many great people and unlocked fantastic opportunities.
With this achievement, I believe I now have a more realistic opportunity to contribute to the community and help others learn Kubernetes and other cloud-native technologies. I am excited about the possibilities ahead.

🎙️Interviewer: Trung, your journey and insights are incredibly valuable. For our audience aspiring to become KubeAstronauts, what final advice would you give?

👤Trung: Enjoy your learning journey. Be patient and disciplined. Keep moving forward, and the results will follow.
To save on your exam budget, make sure to utilize coupons or discount codes (which can be up to 50%). CNCF has released a very interesting bundle for pursuing Kubestronaut program here: Kubestronaut Bundle. Check it out!

🎙️Interviewer: Trung’s journey is an inspiration for aspiring KubeAstronauts, showcasing the importance of continuous learning and practical experience in mastering Kubernetes.

Before wrap up, there's an exciting news on our Dedicated Kubeastronaut learning path just released.

Kubestronaut Learning Path | Kodekloud
Embark on the Kubestronaut learning path. Hone your Kubestronaut skills with our study roadmap. Start your Kubestronaut journey today.