Getting started with K8s in 2022

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Kubernetes has been around for almost 7 years as of 2022. While its ecosystem has evolved with a plethora of fantastic resources in the form of documentation (shameless self-plug, I know), blogposts, videos, podcasts, and courses, there still is a pretty high entry level barrier if you’re entirely new to it. A majority of the questions I’ve received are around the very first step to be taken while learning and what is a good way to get started. This is a compilation I wish I had when I got started and I hope you find it useful.

First things first. Everybody understands stuff differently and I cannot stress this enough! I come from a sys admin background within tech and understanding Kubernetes wasn’t extremely difficult for me since it built upon a lot of my existing knowledge. However someone from a development background would probably not have the same frame of reference as me and therefore, would require a slightly different roadmap. The variance would be even more significant for folks from a non-tech background.

The roadmap I mention below is structured to be comprehensive and is merely curation. I do not attempt to explain things because as much as I would love to, there’s some fantastic content already out there that deserves your attention. Almost 99% of the content listed below is freely available on the internet. I also would like to add the disclaimer that this is not a paid post and if it links to some paid content, it is because I found it useful personally. Whether or not you purchase it, is totally up to you :) So without further ado, let’s get you started on your journey.

Step #1: Building the base

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration engine for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. But if you did not understand any of that and why there was a need for it, your best bet would be to start from ground zero. Understanding some basic concepts around operating systems, virtualization, and how they no longer served the purpose would be helpful in realizing why containerization started making waves. Some resources are listed below:

Step #2: Containerize it.

Before you learn to orchestrate them, a basic understanding of what containers are and how to interact with them is key to building a strong foundation.

  • Start off by learning the basics of YAML. Learning YAML syntax will come in real handy because a lot of the configuration files you’ll be learning to write will be in YAML. This video by TechWorld with Nana covers what you need to understand in less than 20 mins!
  • Containers 101 — KubeAcademy is a brilliant brief introduction to the world of containers. It builds upon the Linux knowledge you gained in Step #1.
  • This fantastic & comprehensive learning containers path by Ivan pretty much covers everything you’d ever need to know with respect to containers, container-shim, and the works.
  • Since containers are synonymous with Docker (although there are other tools), it’d be a safe bet to start off learning how to interact with Docker. freeCodeCamp and Tech World with Nana are two great resources that I felt were really easy to follow along with respect to pace & simplicity of content.

Step #3: Sailing the Kubernetes seas

Now that you’ve gained a basic understanding of containers, it’d be safe to start playing around with Kubernetes.

  • I’ve always found it easier to understand pieces by breaking them, so this paid course on Udemy By Mumshad Mannambeth was very helpful in my learning journey.
  • Coupled with this video by TechWorld with Nana and these interactive browser-based scenarios on Katacoda, I was able to further deepen my understanding of Kubernetes.
  • Of course, my learning journey would have been incomplete without the Kubernetes documentation website. The tutorials and content on there are freely available for everyone to peruse.

Fun fact: You can even open the documentation during any of the Kubernetes certification exams, as well.

  • I’d also like to drop a special mention for Dominik Tornow’s blog on Medium that I discovered later on in my journey, courtesy of this gist by Dims (which is in itself a huge curation of many awesome resources!) The content on these blogs were deep dives into areas that I already had read about briefly and helped refine my knowledge.
  • One of the other things that definitely helped me during my learning journey was setting up Kubernetes locally.

There are multiple options out there — k3s, k0s, along with managed cloud offerings like GKE, AKS, EKS, etc. to install and learn with. You might wonder if it would be simpler to start off with one of these as opposed to K8s. However the best bet, in my opinion, would be to start out with Kubernetes in its most basic form. The reason being while these are all great offerings for specific use cases and are sometimes more lightweight & easy to use than the standard distribution itself, it makes sense to start doing it the harder way for better understanding.

That’s it for this post! As aforementioned, a lot of the resources that I have incorporated in the post are ones I have used in my personal journey. While access to resources is important, I believe structuring your learning path is equally necessary. This is what I’ve aimed to do with this post & I hope it was useful.

I aim to continue curating & publishing content related to learning different cloud-native technologies over the coming year. If there’s something specific that you’d like to see on here, do leave a comment below.

Happy learning!

To continue staying updated on my tech shenanigans, follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn. I also publish a weekly newsletter, Friday four, that you might want to subscribe to for a highlight reel of the latest goings-on in the world of tech.


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Divya Mohan

HSBC

@divya_mohan0209
SIG Docs Co-chair @kubernetesio | SIG Docs Lead @LitmusChaos | CNCF Ambassador | Co-organizer of @CNCFStudents | AWS Community Builder | Team Lead @HSBC
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