In this section of the blog, I will detail how I maintained focus on the learning process to ensure I continued to acquire Kubernetes proficiency (and what lies ahead for me in learning.)

Keeping Focused to Ensure Success

The hands-on hours I spent on the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site was highly instrumental in my preparation for taking the Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam. This is a 2-hour practical exam that really pushes you, but it is 100% worth it. I was well-prepared: the hands-on expertise in Kubernetes and overall knowledge that the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site labs provide definitely gave me the learning boost I needed to successfully pass the exam.

This is not to say getting to where I am today was easy! My learning process took seven months of hard work. I spent a couple of hours most nights of the week during that time, before I passed the CKA exam in December. I definitely spent a lot of time taking and retaking the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site labs, especially the “Back up your Kubernetes Application” and “Storage and Applications in Kubernetes” labs, which are directly related to my job.

It definitely took me some time before I began to really understand what I was doing during the labs. I was mainly getting used to working with the command line in this environment then. At times when I was completing a lab, I would get repeated failure messages. I would then go back and see how I’d made mistakes with the commands. I often ended up cutting and pasting the commands, especially during the beginning, to make sure that I was correctly inputting the commands.  While challenging, this was all just part of the learning experience.

The process of having access to a live cluster without having to pay a dime is something the commercial Kubernetes training courses do not offer.

My Journey Continues

I have yet to meet a person who is 100% proficient in understanding the myriad intricacies, complexities and subtleties of Kubernetes. Today, even after passing the CKA exam and becoming proficient enough to become an instructor for the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site, I can still run into trouble. The networking component of Kubernetes is a perfect example. Every time I think I understand how networking in Kubernetes works, something new comes along to confuse me. The latest issue I faced is when managing the IP virtual server (IPVS), which is part of the linux kernel. Depending on how Kubernetes is deployed, it either leverages iptables or IPVS to do its thing, and while I’ve spent hours reading articles and blogs to figure out how it worked in the Kubernetes world, it still remains a mystery to me at times.

This is where the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site serves as a valuable resource to update and even refresh my skills. In many ways, it’s like a sandbox environment where I can do no harm — versus experimenting with live clusters. I have been able to continually refresh my memory on the networking component of Kubernetes management as well as other aspects of Kubernetes that are relevant to my job as a platform specialist with a focus on automation. The fact that the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site is hands-on and free is just amazing, which is why I always refer people to it as a source of training.

As an instructor, I currently assist with beta testing new labs prior to their release to the public, to make sure they meet the criteria outlined by the creator.

I continue to rely on the Kasten Kubernetes Learning Site as a self-service reference and resource that is also highly relevant to my job. If I had to start over, I would definitely begin to take advantage of the labs first, before investing in online courses. I only wish I had access to the site when I began my Kubernetes learning journey.

Check out the free Kubernetes Learning Site to find the self-service labs that best meet your needs. Whether you’re a developer, a backend engineer or an operations specialist and are starting from scratch or need to refresh your skills, Kasten by Veeam has you covered.