Kubernetes and Cloud-native Associate Exam (KCNA)

KCNA: Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate

Kubernetes and cloud-native concepts are key to modern software development. New IT projects typically set these topics very high on their wish list. Of course, there are lots of projects out there that still live on old technology stacks and/or can’t use the benefits of todays containerized world.

At the same time, we see more and more companies running software modernization projects or modernizing their digital products.

This leads to an increasing demand for professional software developers with deep knowledge in Kubernetes and Cloud-native technology and concepts.

The Linux Foundation has a great set of trainings and exams to address this demand, e.g.:

The Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) is an entry kind of exam that demonstrates a user’s foundational knowledge and skills in Kubernetes and the wider cloud native ecosystem.

Well, that sounded interesting and so I booked a Black Friday/Christmas bundle for the KCNA exam and the according training to get an impression of the content.

The official name of the according training is KUBERNETES AND CLOUD NATIVE ESSENTIALS (LFS250).

Officially, it should take about 12-15 hours to go through the material of LFS250.

What was my impression: well, LFS250 presents a very, very compact introduction into kubernetes and cloud native. There’s not really much material and it took me only 2.7 hours for a first complete run through the whole stuff.

So, is the worth the money? Yes. You get into touch with a lot of the basic concepts and tools that play key roles in modern software development and you learn vocabulary like: kubernetes, container, pod, Deployment, ReplicaSet, containerd, CRI-O, Helm, Jaeger, Prometheus, GitOps, etc. Explanations are short, but to the point. No fluff around defining the topics. There are short demos included and a lot of good hints for further readings.

All in all, I can recommend this LFS250 introduction level course if you are new to kubernetes and cloud-native world. As a developer, you definitely will go to other trainings to really learn the tooling and concepts. For a first overview, it’s great material. As a manager who has to work in modern scenarios, it’s absolutely the right level. You get all the concepts, get demos, get some hands-on if needed and with that you have the basic knowledge to talk to the real developers… :-).

What about the KCNA exam then? Is the material in LFS250 good enough to pass?

The answers is yes: LFS250 is sufficient, I was able to get 84% in the first run. The exam itself is a typical one. You have to identify yourself, have a clean desk, show your room to the operator, kill a lot of „bad“ processes on your machine (took me 20 minutes) and then hope for a stable internet connection. I had three full crashes of the PSI secure browser, which kicked me out of the exam. Fortunately, no data was lost, and I was able to continue. You have 90 minutes for the exam and 60 multiple choice questions. Took me about 45 minutes for a first complete run over all questions and then some of the rest of the time to go over the questions again. They have the typical multiple-choice quality: some are easy, some need a bit thinking, some were not part of LFS250 (but can be answered with a good feeling), some need making 50:50 choices, because context is not fully clear. So, preparing with LFS250 is sufficient, if you do the quick tests with eyes open (and maybe two times) and maybe use the good hints for further study depending on your current level of knowledge.

Conclusion: The KCNA exam together with LFS250 essential training is a must-have combination for all IT managers and maybe a good (very first) first contact for developers with the world of Kubernetes and Cloud-native.

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