As Kubernetes becomes the most widely supported container orchestration engine, demand for IT professionals with Kubernetes expertise is bound to accelerate shortly. To meet that demand, Mirantis has started a vendor-neutral Kubernetes and Docker certification program that includes both boot camp events and self-paced online training.
The proctored Kubernetes and Docker certification (KDC100) is based around a hands-on $600 exam that requires IT professionals to master 30 tasks. A KD110 bundle includes the KD100 boot camp and the KDC100 exam for $2,395.
The online course, which is scheduled to be available next month, includes a one-year access to the KD100 course content and videos and 72 hours of online hands-on labs, with a certificate provided upon completion. Cost of the the online course is regularly $395, but Mirantis is offering it for $195 for a limited time.
While the Kubernetes certification program from Mirantis is rooted around the curated instance of the OpenStack cloud management framework that Mirantis supports, Boris Renski, chief marketing officer for Mirantis, says the skills learned can be applied to any implementation of Kubernetes.
Mirantis is working with CoreOS, Intel and Google to make Kubernetes simpler for the average IT administrator to master. One of the criticisms leveled by providers of rival container orchestration platforms is that Kubernetes to too difficult to deploy because it was built by Google engineers for other engineers to use.
Renski says that given the number of vendors that have pledged to incorporate Kubernetes in their stacks, Kubernetes become a de facto standard, for all intents and purposes. The challenge now is to expand the base of IT administrators that have Kubernetes expertise. Other backers of Kubernetes include Red Hat, Canonical and IBM. Mirantis is especially committed to Kubernetes because it has pledged to port OpenStack to Kubernetes as an alternative to a traditional hypervisor.
Of course, the single biggest challenge to creating demand for IT professionals with Kubernetes experience is the level of adoption in production environments. Many developers are making use of containers such as Docker. But most IT organizations are deploying containers on top of hypervisors, which they manage using their existing tools. The actual amount of Kubernetes cluster use is probably high. But it remains to be seen just how long that transition might take in a production environment. The good news is that savvy IT professionals still have time to bone up on their Kubernetes skills in advance of that demand. Once that demand starts to escalate, IT professionals that have Kubernetes skills should be able to command a salary premium.
In the meantime, IT professionals should familiarize themselves with every aspect of the container technology ecosystem. While there no doubt will be demand for Kubernetes and Docker expertise, expertise will be required for a wide range of related technologies spanning everything from security to container application performance optimization. It’s already apparent that the days of the IT specialist are coming to an end in favor of IT generalists that have cross-disciplinary skills. In a DevOps environment based on containers, that trend will only continue to accelerate.