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Nellie
Nellie

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Learning K8s on EdX

Background:

I have never been great at learning from text. It becomes easier for me if I can apply knowledge, and if I can visualize it. So when a good friend pointed me to the EdX course, I initially browsed the chapters in the unpaid version. Paying money to learn from texts is a hard sell for me. When the friend offered to pay for the course, I had to give it a try.

Things to know about the course:

1) The quizzes or chapter knowledge checks at the end are open-note. You can look at the questions before going through the chapters. I didn't realize this until about chapter seven and had failed a few questions because I didn't know I could go look for the answers in the chapters.
2) There are a few 'trick' true and false questions. With true and false questions you do not get more than one attempt at a correct answer. A straightforward example would be asking if a pod is self-healing, by phrasing it, "can a pod heal itself". The answer here is not true. Although the internet will tell you Kubernetes pods are self-healing, they in fact do nothing to heal themselves.
4) The chapters are an info dump and expect to have to look a lot of things up to get a clear picture of what you are learning.
5) A few of the links are outdated, and I failed to install Kubernetes on my Windows home machine after fighting for days trying to find a solution. Linux for the win
6) There is a lot of useful information in each chapter, and I feel that for people who can learn from text, this course is a great option.

What I learned:

HOLY CRAP is Kubernetes huge and complex. I can also understand, in my small way, why container orchestration is necessary for large-scale projects in today's inter-webs-driven businesses.
The interconnections between containers/pods/api and end user or developer are important steps to conceptualizing how all the components fit together.
A lot of the info in the course can be daunting and scary if this is your first encounter with containers and cloud web-type interactions.
If you are like me and have trouble passing over topics and concepts that you don't fully understand, please do yourself a favor and stay out of rabbit holes. You can look those things up at leisure another day, focus on the Kubernetes material. It is hard, but I promise the final exam is open book, and most things are googlable or findable in the course material.
Special note, there are some things that I could not find either through google search or in the chapters. It may be my skill to blame, or it may be that some questions were written to have you infer answers from the given information.
Communities around Kubernetes are there waiting and willing to help as you learn. insert shameless plug for my favorite k8 community

Data on Kubernetes Community

I've never had the opportunity to work on a project that needs such a robust and complex system to keep it running and maintainable. If I do, I won't be as terrified, but still a mite frightened, of using k8. At least now I know why I'm afraid. I think.
Link for course: Introduction to Kubernetes
Happy coding, and may the spam be ever in your flavor.

Discussion (2)

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_bkeren profile image
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Can you give link to the edx course you mentioned?

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nelliesnoodles_90 profile image
Nellie Author