I would like to share my experience about this CKA exam which is one of my bucket list certs in 2021. Further I am adding my experience and issues that really lagged my confidence during the exam. Upcoming will be little technical, in-between some of my stories, So get ready.
In IT Certifications or in any kind of exams, We usually have MCQ’s which is the easiest way to crack by just memorizing the dumps. In my case, I am not good at memorizing everything. Even if i memorize, for sure the result will be bad and I will fail the exam. This CKA exam is completely different than other certifications. I will explain you how it is different.
“Whatever you start, you must find your mentor”. If you follow their path or If you work under their guidance, you can reduce the burden. I used to check LinkedIn posts daily. That is the good place to find mentors.
A Year back, I started seeing many posts regarding devops and related certifications. Most of the certs are CKA, CKAD, Terraform, still many are there but these three are most common from all. I started querying about the use cases to people’s who are all posting these certifications. After that I started preparing for those certifications. As my First target is CKA the course material is common which is Udemy. My Mentors are Zeal vora and Mummshad Mannambeth. Both of their courses in udemy gives work alike and real hands-on to prepare for the exam.
Okay! Let me give you a sample technical understanding about kubernetes(CKA).
“Kubernetes, or k8s, is an open source platform that automates Linux container operations. It eliminates many of the manual processes involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications,” Haff and Henry write. “In other words, you can cluster together groups of hosts running Linux containers, and Kubernetes helps you easily and efficiently manage those clusters.”
- Containers: If you need to know about containerization please refer this link →https://www.citrix.com/en-in/solutions/app-delivery-and-security/what-is-containerization.html
About the Exam:
In CKA there are 17 tasks in Exam.
For eg: upgrading the cluster, Troubleshooting the cluster, setting up networking for communication between the outside(cluster to Internet),Need to filter out which resource is consuming more memory and write that to a text file. key store (etcd)Database backup snapshot and restore the given DB, Capturing the Cluster log by constructing the architecture through yaml file. Creating Ingress network(for network traffic to reach to particular pod(host)),Creating Persistent volumes, creating claims to mount that volumes, Creating the deployment, scaling the deployment, Exposing the host to port to 80 0r 8080.mounting volumes to a pod in cluster and still some left.
Time is the biggest factor in this Exam.2 hrs to complete all these. If you waste 5–10 mins that is huge because you need to troubleshoot, take backup, restore db.
“One advantage is you can use their official documentation for reference purpose.”
There are no dumps to prepare.It is fully practical and you need good practice in terminal to clear it.
My Exam Experience:
My preparation started 3-4 months back. Main goal is to spend at least half an hour daily on this.
On Exam day, I was ready half an hour before the scheduled time. Online Proctor(“As it is online exam someone from CKA exam team will be monitoring us”) asked me to show my id card for verification. I was ready to give the exam and finally they asked me to open the task manager. I was trying to open it but it is not opening. Proctor said that he won’t allow me to write the exam without seeing the task manager. Till morning my laptop was working fine. Then with proctor permission, I had restarted the Lap. Exam should start at **3.45** as per timing. I had restarted the laptop at 3.40 pm and it opened again at **4.45 pm**.I don’t know what to do and in-between my brother called asking me to do recharge for his phone number. Told my situation and he was laughing like the hell. I was like SJ Surya in Nenjam Marappathillai” — Summa iruu daa
Till 1 hr and 15 mins it was blank screen. I thought 21,000(exam fee) is gone forever. As per the exam rules, If you don’t start the exam within the time it will be marked as No Show meaning “Your money is gone and no attempt will be given”.
Before restarting, I confirmed with proctor. So he hold the exam option for me. After restarting, I found that some of the file systems are corrupted that is the reason for task manager is not getting opened. For temporary purpose I had fixed the issue in changing the registry value(registry is hierarchical database in windows).After doing all these things, Some how proctor allowed me to start the exam.
After entering the exam console, left half side is questions(Tasks 1–17).Right side is linux kind of terminal where you should execute commands.
Right side Terminal is loading for 5–10 mins and showed “Internal server error 500”.My Mindvoice be like “Sothulayum adivangiyachu sethulayum adivangiyachu”.Then again opened in another browser(Microsoft Edge).
Afterwards, some how started the exam. After completing two tasks there is an error displayed saying “Error in switching the context file”(There will be 5-7 clusters alas environments which you must set before performing the tasks).I asked the proctor regarding the issue. He told me that, he is just for monitoring purpose and told me that he won’t be able help anything on this.
Then after 5 mins I tried opening new terminal few times.At my 3rd time it got resolved. I had done the exam and closed for the day. Result will be published after 36–42 hrs maximum.
Lol, At last after managing all these cleared the exam :-)