I don’t think that Confluent needs further introductions; if you are reading this article, you may be well aware of what Confluent Kafka is, but you know, just in case… The Confluent Kafka platform is built around the popular streaming platform: Kafka. As you may know, Kafka is a distributed messaging system built around one fundamental concept: the publish and subscribe.
On the confluent documentation, you can read: “Confluent provides the industry’s only enterprise-ready Event Streaming Platform, driving a new paradigm for application and data infrastructure. With Confluent Platform, you can leverage data as a continually updating stream of events rather than as discrete snapshots. Over 60% of the Fortune 100 leverage event streaming — and the majority of those leverage Confluent Platform. Confluent provides a single platform for real-time and historical events, enabling you to build an entirely new category of event-driven applications and gain a universal event pipeline. Confluent is founded by the original creators of Apache Kafka®.” (https://docs.confluent.io/current/platform.html)
Why you should take it
No secret here, every certification will help you give a boost to your resume; this makes no exception. In this case, a great plus is that the confluent platform is the standard in the data field and is the cutting edge streaming platform. My personal opinion is that there is nothing out there that can be as cool as it.
If you think about alternatives like vanilla Kafka or cloud counterparts, let’s say PubSub, you realize that what I am saying is not that wrong.
Confluent can count on products like Kafka Connect, Kafka Streams, and last but not least, ksqlDB (which alone can justify the whole platform’s costs, but this is another story :)).
Going back to your career, with this certification, you will prove your knowledge on one of the hottest topics of these days: streaming technologies and event data platforms.
Ok, I have to admit it, I have a background in streaming technologies. I am not saying that you need to have it, but it helps for sure.
Some basic concepts can help during the preparation for the exam. If you are totally new to the topic, no worries, this article is focused on you; when preparing for a certification or an exam, my golden rule is to start from the basics, even if I have prior knowledge on the topic.
Official Certification Page
Confluent has got a dedicated certification page (https://www.confluent.io/certification/). On this page, you can find a lot of info about the certification exam and how to prepare for it.
Recently a free Certification Bootcamp is available at https://cnfl.io/certbootcamp. The Bootcamp will give you many insights for the exam, like the number of questions or some test-taking strategies.
Speaking about exam info, the developer certification exam:
- will consist of 60 multiple choice question that has to be answered in 90 minutes;
- is a remote proctored exam;
- is available in English worldwide.
Now that we know something more about the exam, I will tell you the main topics you need to know to pass the exam. You may find a detailed list of the exam topics inside the Bootcamp material, so you must subscribe to it.
A synthetic list o of what argument you need to know is:
- Apache Kafka general knowledge, so all concepts related to it like partitioning, offsets, topics, producer, consumer, etc. Also, some background about ZooKeeper is required, just like some Kafka configurations for topics;
- Apache Kafka guarantees and delivery semantics; in this case, you need to know very well all the theory behind those concepts;
- Confluent Schema Registry, what it is and how it works is something that can be part of the exam;
- Kafka Connect, how it works and how it simplifies developers lives, well this is something that you should know;
- Kafka Stream, with the previous point, you’ve maybe know how to move data in and out from Kafka; now we are talking about how to work with those data inside Kafka.
- KSQL and ksqlDB, this is maybe my favorite part. KSQL is something new in the Confluent toolchain; And you will have to know how it works and how to use it. You will also need to know what are the advantages of it.
By the way, every time I’ve studied for a certification or a new technology, someone always told me: “check the official documentation.” Guess what? It is an absolutely true statement.
For what concerns the Confluent Kafka documentation page, you can visit this link: https://docs.confluent.io/home/overview.html; This is an overview page, a perfect starting point for our studies.
And let me say one last thing about the official documentation; Confluent has done a great job with it. It is straightforward and easy to understand.
If you think that the documentation is not enough or if you prefer video lessons, you can try with the series by Stephane Maarek on udemy.com.
I think that with a resource like this, your knowledge on the topic will be skyrocketed. This is precisely what I meant with my golden rule; even if I had experience with Kafka and streaming in general, a great course like this can make the difference! So do not hesitate and start from the basics.
I’ve watched them, and I think that Stephane has done a hell of a job with those courses. It covers all the exam topics and goes way over it; some course title are:
- Apache Kafka Series — Learn Apache Kafka for Beginners v2;
- Apache Kafka Series — Kafka Connect Hands-on Learning;
- Apache Kafka Series — Kafka Streams for Data Processing;
- Apache Kafka Series — Confluent Schema Registry & REST Proxy;
- Apache Kafka Series — KSQL on ksqlDB for Stream Processing.
There is even more than you need to pass the certification. In these courses, you will have the chance to do a lot of excellent hands off!
I hope that with this article, your certification preparation will be more comfortable. I also hope that you will enjoy the fantastic Kafka courses by Stephane; I did!
Do not forget to enjoy your time studying for this certification; it is the best time to learn and improve your developer skills.
So what you’re waiting for? Go get one of the most hot certifications out there!