Photo by Todd Quackenbush / Unsplash

Learn Hard-to-Learn Technologies (like Kubernetes)

blog May 11, 2024

As developers, we often face the dilemma of choosing which technologies to use and when. In this article, we will talk about one of the most debated claims - "Do you really need Kubernetes?".

Lane Wagner, in his article - "Maybe You Need Kubernetes", sheds some light on the controversial claim. When we're making business decisions, it's usually best to opt for the simplest, fastest, and cheapest solution. However, when it comes to our careers as developers, having expertise in hard-to-learn technologies can be a valuable asset. Speaking from my personal experience, I gained a lot more opportunities after completing my Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certifications. By the end of the year, I was able to do penetration testing on Kubernetes clusters and also contribute to the Container and Kubernetes security knowledge base within the organization.

Wagner uses the concept of the "Line of Primeagen" to illustrate his point. This line represents the point at which a simple solution becomes too expensive or difficult to maintain as your project grows. At this point, it's worth investing time and effort into learning harder skills that will allow you to scale more efficiently.

Difficulty is a moat

Apparently, when something becomes too easy, it becomes cheap, and everyone starts doing it. To stand out in the market, you need to be really good at something that's both challenging and valuable.

So, should you learn Kubernetes or other hard skills? Absolutely yes, you should. Don't be afraid of complexity and difficulty - they can be a sign of quality and a way to differentiate yourself from others. Instead of focusing on simplicity and speed for business decisions, you should aim to gain expertise in hard things that require complex problem-solving skills. This approach can lead to higher earning potential in the long run and a competitive edge in the job market.


While it's tempting to choose quick-to-market solutions, there are times when you should opt for more complex and challenging options. Focus on building expertise in areas that are both in-demand and hard to learn, and don't be afraid of difficulty. In the end, gaining such expertise in complex problem-solving skills helps to stand out in the job market.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, this article is a must-read for anyone looking to advance their career in software engineering.

Maybe You Do Need Kubernetes
Theo has this great video on Kubernetes, currently titled “You Don’t Need Kubernetes”. I’m a Kubernetes enjoyer, but I’m not here to argue about that.