The objective of this post is to compile the study materials I used to pass the CCDAK certification exam. All of my study was self-paced without instructors, so I'll list all the materials and courses I used to prepare for the exam.
Before starting to prepare for the CCDAK exam I didn't have a lot of experience with Kafka. Most of the experience I had was with the basic consumer/producer APIs and KSQL. I never used Kafka Streams for example.
To prepare for the certification I started with the Kafka core concepts Udemy course. This course introduces Kafka from the basic concepts to the most advanced APIs.
In my opinion, if you never touched Kafka before you should do the exercises proposed during the course, otherwise you can skip them. The task of installing a cluster locally can be very time-consuming. By using Confluent Cloud you can avoid setting up the cluster. New users of Confluent Cloud have some free credits that are enough for this purpose.
After getting used to the core concepts I took the Kafka Streams course. In my opinion, this is a logical step to take after getting familiar with Kafka consumer/producer APIs.
Since I have never used Kafka Streams I dedicated some time to do the exercises proposed during the course. I found the exercises very useful to assimilate all the theories behind KStreams.
Kafka Connect and Confluent Schema Registry
In my opinion, these are more lightweight topics. I had some experience with these so I just reviewed the theory using the following Udemy courses. But I believe that even if you don't have experience with Connect and schema registry it should be easy to quickly get the basics.
To me, this was the more difficult topic. I spent most of my study time here. Once again I recommend following Udemy course
Kafka Internals - advanced
Despite not being a requirement for the certification I found these tutorials quite interesting to understand better how Kafka works internally.
Notes about Udemy courses
All of the previously mentioned courses can be found on Udemy for around 15€ each. If they are not priced like that you can either wait for Udemy promo (Udemy is 99% of the time in promo), or you can find coupons codes on the Author's blog
I found the aforementioned courses sufficient for exam preparation. However, some details may appear on the exam that are not covered in these courses.
To fill in any gaps from the courses, I read the free Kafka The Definitive Guide book, provided by Confluent.
Before taking the exam I recommend you to test your knowledge with some practice tests.
This Udemy course contains 3 tests with 50 questions each. I found the type of questions very similar to the questions I had on the real exam. If you are comfortable with these 3 tests you should have no issue in the real exam.
Then I also practised using the questions of this Cloud guru course. To access these questions you must have a cloudGuru subscription, if you don't have one I believe it is not worth to pay it for just the practice tests.
I scheduled the exam on the confluent examinity platform. The exam costs 150$ (without VAT) and if you are in a hurry you can schedule it 24h in advance, but I believe this has an extra cost.
On the day of the exam you will connect to the examinity platform and one proctor will connect to you on Zoom (You should install zoom before). During the exam, the webcam, microphone and screen share must be enabled. The exam consists of 60 questions that have to be answered in 90 minutes.
After finishing the exam you will have to fill out a small survey. After that, you will get the result immediately. Confluent doesn't publish the minimum passing score to get approved, at the end of the exam you will simply get the pass/no pass information.
In conclusion, preparing for the CCDAK exam requires a combination of self-paced learning, practice, and dedication. By utilizing various Udemy courses, the Confluent resources, and practice tests, candidates can efficiently build their knowledge and skills in Apache Kafka. With proper preparation and focus, passing the CCDAK exam is achievable, leading to a valuable certification in the field.