Success Story: Preparing for Kubernetes Certification Improves a Platform Development Engineer’s Skills

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Faseela K. is a platform development engineer with a background in open source networking. As she saw the use of containers growing more than the VMs she was working with, she began studying Kubernetes and eventually decided to pursue a Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). We spoke to her about her experience.

Linux Foundation: What was the experience like taking the CKA exam?

Faseela K: I was actually nervous, as this was the first online certification exam I was taking from home, so there was some uncertainty going in. Would the proctor turn up on time? Will the cloud platform where we are taking the exam get stuck? Will I be able to finish the exam on time? Those and several other such questions ran through my mind. But I turned down all my concerns, had a very smooth exam experience, and was able to finish it without any difficulties. 

LF: How did you prepare for the exam?

FK: I am a person who uses Kubernetes in my day to day work, so the topics in the syllabus were familiar to me. On top of that I did some practice tests and online courses. Preparing for the exam made so many of my day to day work related tasks much easier, and my level of expertise on K8s increased considerably.

LF: How did preparing for and taking CKA help you improve your skills?

FK: Though I work on K8s regularly, the range of concepts and capabilities I was using were minimal. Preparing for CKA helped me touch upon all areas of K8s, and the experience which I already had helped me get a complete end to end view of things. I can troubleshoot Kubernetes issues in a better way now, and go deep into each problem to find a solution.

LF: Tell us more about your current job role. What types of activities are you engaged in and how has the CKA helped with them?

FK: I currently work as a platform development engineer at Cisco, where we develop and maintain an enterprise Kubernetes platform. Troubleshooting, upgrading, networking, and system management of containerized platforms are part of our daily tasks, and CKA has helped me master all these areas with perfection. The training which I took to prepare for the CKA phenomenally transformed my perspective about Kubernetes administration, and this has helped me attain an end to end view of the product. Debugging any issues in the platform has become easier than ever, and the certification has given me even more confidence with fixing issues in a time sensitive manner.

LF: You mentioned to us previously you’d like to take the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) next; what appeals to you about that certification?

FK: I am planning to go deeper into containerized application development in my career, and hence CKAD was appealing to me. In fact, I already completed CKAD and became CKAD certified within less than a month of achieving my CKA certification. The confidence I gained after CKA helped me try the second one also faster.

LF: Tell us about your experience working on the OpenDaylight project. What prompted you to move from focusing on SDN to Kubernetes?

FK: I was previously a member of the Technical Steering Committee of the OpenDaylight project at The Linux Foundation, and made a lot of contributions to OpenDaylight. Working in open source has been the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life, and OpenDaylight gave me exposure to the various activities under LF Networking, while being a part of The Linux Foundation generally helped me engage with some of the top notch brains across organizations. 

Coming together from across the globe during various conferences and DDFs, and working together across the company boundaries to solve common SDN problems has given me so much satisfaction. Over a period of time, containers were gaining traction over VMs, and I wanted to get more involved with containerization and platform development, where Kubernetes looked more promising.

LF: What are your future career goals?

FK: I intend to learn more about K8s internal implementation, and also to get involved with projects like istio, servicemesh and networkservicemesh in the future. My dream is to become a cloud native software developer, who promotes containerized application development in a cloud native way.

LF: What technology are you most interested in studying next?

FK: I am currently pursuing a course on the golang programming language. I also plan to take the Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) exam if time permits.

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