Confluent Certified Developer for Apache Kafka – CCDAK: How to Prepare

I just got CCDAK certified, and in this blog post, I would like to share with you my experience with the certification, the learning resources I used, and some tips and tricks for passing the exam.

Why I got certified?

The reason why I wanted to pass the CCDAK exam was that I’ve already been working with Apache Kafka on my day-to-day job to develop applications that interact with each other via Apache Kafka, so I wanted to study for the certification to fill gaps and validate my knowledge around this piece of technology.

About The CCDAK Certification

The Confluent Certified Developer for Apache Kafka (CCDAK) exam is a multiple-choice exam which must be answered within 90 minutes. It is a proctored, online exam: The candidate must have a Webcam, and the proctor monitors the student for the duration of the exam.

You can also take a look at the FAQ support page from Confluent.

Exam Topics

I couldn’t find on the confluent website which topics we’re being tested upon. But I have found from other people’s experiences on the net these wide-ranging topics that I focused on while studying for the exam:

  • Kafka Architecture: Zookeeper, brokers, consumers, producers, partitions and replications
  • Consumer and producer configuration turning
  • Testing Producers, Consumers, and Kafka Streams applications
  • Kafka Streams
  • Kafka Connect
  • Confluent Schema Registry
  • Confluent REST Proxy
  • Kafka Security topics: TLS Encryption – Client Authentication – ACL Authorization

My Experience

Given that I already have working experience with Apache Kafka, It took me about two months of preparation. Your mileage may vary. It all depends on how focused you are and how much experience you have with Apache Kafka. I used the practice exams from Stephane to check my readiness for the exam. Even though some practice questions were outdated, the tests were valuable to asses myself before taking the real exam.

On exam day, I did a regular check-in with the exam proctor, we had some technical issues at first with the mic. It took us about 20 minutes to finish the check-in.

I received my grade the moment I finished the exam. Then after a couple of hours, I was emailed from Confluent with the official CCDAK certification.

Learning Resources

During the preparation phase, I used various learning materials to prepare for the exam. Here I list them in no particular order:

Exam Tips

  • Don’t get stuck, and try all questions. This is very important because if you get stuck on hard questions, you’ll miss the easy questions in the end! If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t waste time flag it, and move on to the next question.
  • Don’t forget to join the Confluent Slack Workspace. There you can post any questions you have about the exam and get help if you need it. You’ll find multiple channels for specific subjects (kafka-streams, schema-registry, ksqldb, clients, …)

Wrap Up

In this post, I tried to share with you my experience with the certification exam, the study material I used, and some tips to pass the exam. If you have any other questions about the topic or want to geek out about Apache Kafka, feel free to DM me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

If you happen to find these articles useful, you can buy me a coffee.

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