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From No Linux Experience to Certified Kubernetes Administrator


Linux Academy student, Hamza Yahaya, started his journey a few years ago with absolutely no Linux knowledge. Today he is a Certified Kubernetes Administrator and has been able to join the platform engineering team at his workplace since getting the certification. Find out more about Hamza’s career below! 

Hey, Hamza! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us. We are honored to have you as part of the Linux Academy family and are so happy that we were able to help you pass the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) exam.

Tell us a little bit about your background! How did you get into Linux?

Hi there, hope everyone over at LA is doing well. I first got into Linux when I took an online course that required me to deploy a web server for the website. This was almost 3-4 years ago. Back then, I did not know how to create a Linux directory on the command line. At the time, I just Googled “how to deploy an Apache web server on Ubuntu” and followed the fastest and easiest one I could find. 

What has your career been like?

It has been quite a journey. I started as a Technical Support Engineer. I enjoyed it for a year but realized it’s not what I want to be doing in the long run. When I tried moving into other roles and interviewed for other positions such as Infrastructure/Operations Engineer, I heard one thing almost all the time – that I did not have the skills required. I then decided to search for courses online and start from the very beginning. I learned how to code in Python from Udacity, which lead me to search for how to deploy websites on Linux servers, and that is how I found Linux Academy. It was just what I needed, because after learning the manual ways of deploying websites, I also learned Puppet from Linux Academy which helped me automate a lot of things. I made personal projects using what I learned, and included these projects on my resume, a year later I got a job as a Solutions Engineer.

Very cool! What made you choose Linux Academy over other platforms?

Honestly, the quality of the content that is on Linux Academy made me choose it over other platforms. There are certain certification courses that I’ve taken, but I did not take the certification exams. However, when asked about topics related to what I’ve learned from these courses in interviews, I was able to answer them clearly and in detail. An example would be the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Prep Course. I remember explaining how auto-scaling is set up in detail before I got my most recent position.

So the content on Linux Academy is not just about passing an exam, but it really gives you what you need to perform on the job.We are so glad LA has helped you apply these skills and congratulations on becoming a Certified Kubernetes Administrator! When you joined the LA family, was your plan to start with the CKA, or did you have a different plan initially?

I joined the LA in 2015 I think, back then I was trying to learn more Linux admin skills and automation tools such as Puppet. Taking the CKA certification exam made sense because I wanted to advance my career and I saw the opportunity.

Is the CKA the first exam you’ve taken?No, CKA is the second exam I’ve taken. I took the Linux Foundation Certified SysAdmin (LFCS) exam in 2016. That was also fun.

Nice! So how did you go about preparing for the CKA exam?

Before taking the CKA course, and before I started preparing for the exam, I decided I wanted to understand how Kubernetes worked from the ground up. To do this, I had to ensure I understood the fundamentals and build a solid foundation. So I started with Introduction to Kubernetes from another site, and while taking that course I got an empty notebook and tried to write down what I learned in my own words. It really helped me understand how each of the components worked before I took the CKA course. As for the CKA exam, I kept practicing the exercises and exam prep questions after completing the course.

Is there anything you would do differently looking back?When I look back, I wish I had started my learning journey earlier. That is the one thing I would change.

What’s the best piece of advice you would give to a new LA student?

For the new LA student who is already employed, I would say research how you can add value to your team/company and develop cloud skills that will help you do so. When you add value, it hardly goes unnoticed.  As for a new student looking to change careers or move into new roles, I would say what worked for me was never stopping. Even when I thought what I was learning would lead nowhere, I continued learning. I would also say, find a path and stick to it.

You mentioned in your community post that LA is doing what no other community in tech is doing in your opinion. Could you please expand on that a little?

Yes, I was being specific to listening to students. LA is currently the only online learning platform that I know of that listens to what student learners want or need, and then creates quality courses to meet the needs of the students. Any student can suggest a course and LA actually listens, and most of the time, the course will be made.

Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

In the next 2-3 years I see myself as being an expert in areas such as system administration, automation, and configuration management. And in my job, I want to understand how I can make use of these skills in areas that can be improved on. For the next 2-3 years after that, I see myself as being an Infrastructure Architect, extending my help and expertise to organizations and also contributing to one of the open-source tools that I’ve learned along the way. I love Terraform 🙂 .

Not many technologies have had the rapid success that Kubernetes has enjoyed in the past few years. By taking the game-changing developer technology of containers and orchestrating them for production, Kubernetes has been deployed in some of the biggest cloud compute projects by some huge household names.

Learn the complete basics of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), from using containers to running them at scale with Kubernetes.


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