What Is CKAD and Why Should You Consider Taking It?

What Is CKAD and Why Should You Consider Taking It?


Skills in container technologies are relevant now more than ever. According to The 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report, Cloud and Container technologies make the top 1 rank in terms of in-demand skills for IT professionals and this upwards trend is seen to continue in the next decade.

One of the technologies that are rising in popularity is the container orchestration tool, Kubernetes. Its feature-set empowers software infrastructures to have stability and scalability on a whole new level which was only a dream by system administrators years ago.

There’s no better time than right now to learn this technology, and doing so can bolster your career for better opportunities.

What is CKAD?

Due to the rapid growth of Kubernetes, The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)  launched the public availability of the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) exam last May 2018 expanding the training opportunities to application developers.

This training allows application developers to have the necessary knowledge and skill-set to build cloud-native applications for Kubernetes. This in turn provides the confidence to hiring managers to obtain professionals with high proficiency with the technology.

Want to learn more about CKAD? Check out this video.

Why do developers need to add Kubernetes to their skill set?

The majority of modern software applications are now served via containerized deployments. Since more companies are now embracing this technology and integrating containers into their workflow at a fast rate, application developers will need to learn how these containers work in order to keep up with the trend. The way they build these applications should also change to make them work as a container image as well as make the application ready for containerized architectures.

What CKAD proves

Individuals who passed CKAD certify that they have the necessary skills needed in order to design, build, configure and deploy applications to Kubernetes. Aside from these, they will also be able to demonstrate the ability the perform monitoring of the application deployed in Kubernetes if it is functioning correctly as well as be able to troubleshoot in the event of any issue occurring.

CKAD Curriculum

Individuals planning to take the CKAD exam will be tested and scored in the following categories:

  • Application Design and Build - This deals with application deployment as a pod (the smallest unit of resource in Kubernetes), performing updates and rollback, and creating jobs or cronjobs.
  • Application Deployment - Test the ability to create deployments, set the number of replicas, perform image changes and rollbacks, and do proper tagging through the use of labels, annotations, and selectors.
  • Application Observability and Maintenance - The ability to query fetch logs for each container, identify the different statuses of the pod, ability to configure the readiness and liveness of pods.
  • Application Environment, Configuration, and Security - Configure different resources to be utilized by the pod such as config maps, secrets, and environment variables.
  • Services and Networking - This deals with the ability to configure services that can be referenced as a connection to the pods, configure ingress for routing as well as network policies for additional security.

Is CKAD for me?

If you’re wondering whether or not to take the CKAD certification, here are some points that should help you decide:

  1. You are an application developer that’s already working with Kubernetes-powered infrastructure - Learning how Kubernetes interacts with your application can definitely improve your way of building your application that synergizes well with Kubernetes and its features.
  2. You are a beginner in Kubernetes and want to gain deeper knowledge - Since CKAD can be considered as an introduction to Kubernetes covering key concepts, architecture, and commonly used resources. Gaining CKAD can definitely ease your way and help you get ready to delve into much more advanced certifications such as CKA and CKS.
  3. You are someone who wants to learn about container orchestration and wants to have a foundational knowledge of Kubernetes - Kubernetes is not going away even in years to come, and having the knowledge of trending technologies can help you in the long term.

CKAD Exam Tips

Preparation is key to any certification exam. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for the CKAD exam.

  1. Get familiarized with the new exam environment - The CNCF introduced significant changes to the exam starting in June 2022. It’s very important to get familiar with the user interface as well as the experience as this will increase your speed in terms of taking the exam. If you like to know more about the changes, you can check out the blog that I’ve written here where I discuss in detail all the changes that took place and what the new exam environment will be like.
  2. Get very familiar and comfortable with the Official Kubernetes Documentation - The new exam environment no longer allow us the use of personalized bookmarks during the exam. Previously, this was widely the norm since it help in terms of finding the resource that we need in the official documentation instantly. But now that it is no longer allowed, you will have to get used to utilizing the search bar and the right keywords to search for resources that you need such as pod definition in YAML.
  3. Improve your text editing skills with vim or nano - The exam will test you heavily on your ability to create resources using YAML files. Having proficiency in text editing tools such as nano or vim can definitely help you answer the questions a lot faster. Focus on learning tab controls, selecting, duplicating, deleting, and modifying multiple lines.
  4. Master your kubectl imperative commands - Aside from creating resources or components via YAML files. You can also create these much more quickly with imperative commands. You can also combine these two techniques together, for example, if you’re asked to create a deployment, it may be faster to create it first with the kubectl command that outputs it to a file. Then edit it later to add more details before creating the component.
  5. Practice makes perfect - The KodeKloud preparation course for CKAD has built-in labs to test what you’ve learned. Take the time to practice and repeat these labs as they contain real-world problems that you solve and keep doing them until you are able to get perfect scores. You’ll find that with more practice this then becomes second nature or even muscle memory that can definitely help in building your confidence for the exam.

Learn about the latest changes in CKAD Exams from our video.

CKAD Resources

KodeKloud has all the best resources that you need to learn Kubernetes and help you nail that CKAD exam. Get started with your CKAD journey by checking out the courses below.


Hope this article helped you understand more about CKAD and help you prepare for the exam.

Kubernetes is the still top skill companies look for in IT professionals as specified in The 10th Annual Open Source Jobs Report. This means each Kubernetes certification you add to your credentials is definitely worth it as this may open new career opportunities for you.

The best part about learning Kubernetes is it very easy to get started. KodeKloud has a learning path for Kubernetes that you can follow that is carefully curated for beginners, it helps you learn the basics first and guide your way up step-by-step until you get all three certifications CKAD, CKA, and CKS.