For Developers

Top Books on Kubernetes Every Software Developer Should Read

Best Kubernetes books

Developed by Google, Kubernetes (K8s) is a popular tool for scaling, deploying and managing containerized applications. In 2020, it became the third most popular platform according to Stack Overflow. With this popularity, jobs for Kubernetes application developers have also risen tremendously. If you are a developer seeking resources to learn this popular tool, choosing a good Kubernetes book is a great idea. To shortlist the best options for you, here are the best Kubernetes books to consider, depending on your proficiency.

What is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an orchestration tool that focuses on automating software management, simplifying deployment, and helping scale it. The system software is open-source and works by containerizing applications to run smoothly on clusters of hosts.

Best Kubernetes books for beginners

If you are new to Kubernetes, these are the best beginner-level books to choose from:

Kubernetes books for beginners.webp

The Kubernetes Book

The Kubernetes Book is one of the best for beginners. Written by Nigel Poulton and Pushkar Joglekar, it is revised annually to cover the latest updates and versions of this system software. It is ideal for beginners looking to learn the fundamentals of Kubernetes and study everything, including its architecture, how it is built, and how its API works.

The book will teach you about node-level and cluster-level isolation and the runtime isolation options. It also explains how Kubernetes deployments are used for scaling, updating, and self-healing apps. After these essential topics, it explains managing Kubernetes clusters with the help of kubectl. It also covers Kubernetes features like Jobs and CronJobs in the apps, identification of vulnerabilities, and the effective measures to prevent and reduce them.

Kubernetes: Up and Running

This one is one of the best O'Reilly books for Kubernetes beginners who want to learn about the reliability and efficiency of Kubernetes. An interesting fact about the book is that it is written by Joe Beda, Kelsey Hightower, and Brendon Burns. The trio is from the Google engineers team that created Kubernetes and are among the most knowledgeable people on the subject.

Kubernetes: Up and Running is one of the best books for Kubernetes certification. It explains how clusters are created and how Kubernetes functions. It also describes how to deploy a Kubernetes application and how specialized objects like ConfigMaps and DaemonSet work. It takes you through the Kubernetes application lifecycle and practical implementation with Kubernetes application development examples.

Kubernetes in Action: 1st Edition

Kubernetes in Action is one of the best Kubernetes books and is written by well-known author, Marko Luksa. It has been positively rated on several online platforms and is liked by 96% of Google users.

In a nutshell, the book explains the process of skillfully developing and running apps in the Kubernetes ecosystem. It begins by providing an overview of container technologies like Docker. It is ideal for readers who have basic knowledge of Kubernetes and want to understand the concepts of container orchestration systems on a deeper level.

The book begins with a brief introduction to Kubernetes and how it relates to Docker. It then takes you through building a Kubernetes cluster and explains how to add features to it while tuning, monitoring, and scaling your application.

Quick Start Kubernetes

Quick Start Kubernetes is another book by Nigel Poulton. After providing a brief introduction to Kubernetes, it focuses on its building blocks. It explains its architecture and then discusses the process of building a cluster. It also describes containerizing your app, breaking it, and seeing it heal in the Kubernetes environment.

The book teaches how to scale your app and perform an update when it arrives. It covers almost everything you need to learn about the Kubernetes ecosystem and prepares you for the practical implications of your learning.

Cloud-Native DevOps with Kubernetes

Cloud-Native DevOps with Kubernetes is another O’Reilly book for Kubernetes newbies who are a part of an organization. It covers everything from the fundamentals of Kubernetes to the process of building applications. It focuses on a practical learning approach where you will create a cloud-native application with complete infrastructure.

The book also teaches DevOps which is essential for developers who work in an organization. It begins with how Kubernetes works and then takes you through the process of building an application, followed by its infrastructure and development environment.

Best Kubernetes books for advanced learners

Here is a list of the best Kubernetes books for advanced learners.

Kubernetes books for advanced learners.webp

Learn Kubernetes in a Month of Lunches

As the name suggests, this book is ideal for working developers to learn Kubernetes during lunches or breaks. It’s an excellent pick for experienced software developers with basic knowledge of containerization and Docker.

It covers everything, including application deployment and lifecycle, while explaining how to scale it. The book is divided into 22 chapters. It begins with the basics of Kubernetes and how it works in collaboration with various frameworks and languages. It teaches how to model, deploy, and manage applications. It explains what the Kubernetes app lifecycles look like, how self-healing works, and how apps are deployed on Kubernetes clusters.

Mastering Kubernetes

Mastering Kubernetes is a book for advanced learners who are already familiar with the fundamentals and deployment capabilities of Kubernetes. The beauty of this book is that it covers almost every topic associated with Kubernetes to some extent. It includes topics like service meshes, serverless computing, running stateful microservices, network configuration, etc.

It imparts knowledge on the latest tools and recommended practices, and teaches how to design and deploy clusters on various cloud platforms. By the time you finish the book, you will be able to progress from an intermediate to advanced level of development.

Kubernetes Patterns: Reusable Elements for Designing Cloud-Native Applications

This is a Kubernetes patterns book that offers a series of detailed and reusable Kubernetes patterns for orchestration and container deployment. It focuses on five cloud-native pattern categories: foundational, behavioral, structural, configuration, and advanced patterns. Every design offers a problem description and provides a Kubernetes-centric solution.

A well-structured book, you can easily navigate through it and find patterns that solve a targeted problem. The book comes with various code examples with self-explanatory diagrams for visual learning. Overall, it’s a great resource to learn about cloud-native pattern categories.

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Study Guide

The CKAD Study Guide is a book for Kubernetes certification, providing learners with CKAD certification from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. It covers everything you need to study to pass the CKAD exam successfully.

Here is what the book teaches:

  • How and when Kubernetes is applied.
  • Your skill level as a Kubernetes developer.
  • The Kubernetes command-line tool called kubectl.
  • Answers to various questions that you can expect in the CKAD exam.

The book also provides tips and tricks to pass the CKAD exam and is an excellent resource for becoming a certified Kubernetes developer.

Kubernetes Best Practices: Blueprints for Building Successful Applications on Kubernetes

This is yet another O’Reilly book that is ideal for experienced Kubernetes developers. It provides a blueprint for building apps on Kubernetes. Instead of taking you through different concepts, it focuses on improving your development skills.

The book explores the ideal ways of applying Kubernetes concepts in the entire development lifecycle. It provides perfect practices for setting up and developing applications, and integrating services and legacy applications. It’s for individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of how to deploy given applications and the associated workflows on Kubernetes.

Final words

There are various Kubernetes books in the market, but not everyone is worth reading. A common mistake people often make is to choose the wrong book and become more confused about the topic and concepts. These curated picks of the best Kubernetes books for beginners and advanced learners will help readers brush up their knowledge and enhance their skills.


  • Author

    Monika Verma

    Monika is a passionate content creator who writes about technology. She is an early riser who is always on a quest to explore nature and sketch out her imagination.

Frequently Asked Questions

The answer is yes, if you are a developer with no prior knowledge or experience of the subject. It can be an intimidating technology to grasp but once you understand the concepts and processes, it is convenient to implement and work on.

To become a certified Kubernetes developer, you must appear for a certification exam and pass it. You can also choose the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) Study Guide to learn Kubernetes and clear the CKAD exam to get a certification.

The best Kubernetes books for new learners are The Kubernetes Book and Kubernetes: Up and Running. Learning Kubernetes in a Month of Lunches is one of the best books for advanced learners.

Absolutely. Learning Kubernetes from a book will save you a lot of time searching the internet for information and sorting out which source is accurate. A book will provide you with all the information you need about the technology in one place.

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