K8s Certification Update - March 11, 2017

Liz Kline

Hello Kubernetes Certification Working Group!

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam development is progressing well.  Here is an update 

Development status
* finalized language on 26 of 32 items written for the exam
* created grading scripts for 5 of 32 items
* built a K8s image (exam environment) with 5 clusters:
   * Immaculate Kubernetes
   * Broken Kubernetes
   * Incomplete Kubernetes
   * Fresh Kubernetes
   * High-Availability (HA) Kubernetes
* working on a proposed a solution to handle CKA candidates switching kubernetes contexts required to complete different exam items

Beta testing
* targeted for mid May (dates TBD)
* We are still looking for volunteers to help with beta testing the exams. If you have interest and K8s expertise please subscribe to this Kubernetes Certification Working Group list: https://lists.cncf.io/mailman/listinfo/cncf-kubernetescertwg
   * beta sign up will be announced via this work group list

* Exam items finalized - thru mid March
* set up exam environment, create grading scripts - thru mid April 
* set up:  exam landing page, candidate portal, scheduling page - late April to early May
* conduct alpha/beta testing and determine passing score - mid May to early June
* Public exam launch - mid June

* Expanded LFS258 self paced course content (to match CKA exam scope) will be available in April
* Targeting to launch free MOOC on edX in Q2

Last month’s update: K8s Certification Update - February 10, 2017 (plain text)

Hello Kubernetes Certification Working Group!

In November, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) launched (https://www.linuxfoundation.org/announcements/cloud-native-computing-foundation-launches-certification-training-and-managed-service) a new training, certification and Kubernetes Managed Service Provider (KMSP) program (http://blog.kubernetes.io/2016/10/kubernetes-service-technology-partners-program.html). Since that announcement, a team of K8s experts have been busy defining an online, proctored certification program to be run by The Linux Foundation for CNCF. Below is an update on the certification progress so far.

We are still looking for volunteers to help with beta testing the exams. If you have interest and expertise please consider subscribing to the Kubernetes Certification Working Group list (https://lists.cncf.io/mailman/listinfo/cncf-kubernetescertwg). We’ll be reaching out to volunteers as the process progresses.

* The exam will be performance-based (i.e. live system) which candidates have to operate
* Job Task Analysis (JTA) Committee of K8s community experts met in Dec 2016 and defined the overall scope, topics for the exams as well as drafted the exam items
* Team is currently working on setting up an environment that can be automatically deployed for each candidate
* In parallel, work has started to to develop the automated scripts to setup and grade the exam items
* Currently forecasting to field test in May and publicly launch in June

Scope Definition for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam
A certified K8s administrator can work proficiently to design, install, configure, and manage a Kubernetes production-grade cluster.  They will have an understanding of key concepts such as Kubernetes networking, storage, security, maintenance, logging and monitoring, application lifecycle, troubleshooting, API object primitives and the ability to establish basic use-cases for end users.  

JTA Development
13 K8s experts from 9 different companies participated in a facilitated 2-day DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) workshop in early December and defined: 
* 10 subject Domains and their % weight on the exam:
5%   Scheduling
5%   Logging / Monitoring
8%   Application Lifecycle Management
11% Cluster Maintenance
12% Security
7%   Storage
10%  Troubleshooting
19%  Core Concepts
11%  Networking
12%  Installation & Configuration
* 55 Topics, aka subdomains 
* The exam environment and technical specs
* An estimated exam length of 4 hours

Exam Item Development
14 K8s experts from 13 different companies participated in a second, intensive 2-day item writing workshop facilitated by a performance-based assessment expert in mid-December and:
* drafted 44 exam items based on the Domains and Topics defined during the JTA; items are logged in a private GitHub repo
* chose 34 of the best Items targeted for the exam by weighted Domain
* applied a difficulty rating of Easy, Moderate, Hard for each item
* agreed upon a K8s Exam environment proposal

Timeline for the Next Steps
* Exam item refinement is ongoing
* 10 week process to complete items set up, exam environment, and develop the grading scripts. (thru mid April). 
* 8 weeks post-setup to conduct the alpha/beta testing, determine passing score,and set up exam portal (mid April to early June)
* Exam launch targeted for the 2nd week of June

We’ve also made available (in partnership with The Linux Foundation) a self-paced online training course that aims to prepare users for the K8s exam. You can find details and sign up for it here (https://training.linuxfoundation.org/linux-courses/system-administration-training/kubernetes-fundamentals).

Liz Kline
Certification Manager
The Linux Foundation
Skype:  liz.kline.co
m:  (512) 694-4605 (Central Time)
e:  lkline@...

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