The Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree - Foundations
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Monday, 14 June 2021
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The Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree - Foundations
Insider's Guide To Foundations

In cooperation with SUSE, Udacity is launching a new highly practical, project-oriented Nanodegree to learn how to design and deploy microservices by leveraging cloud native tools and patterns.



The Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree aims to:

Meet the growing demand for cloud native architects and learn to identify the best application architecture solutions for an organization’s needs.

The program, which is at intermediate level, will take four months with 10 hours per week effort and has as its pre-requisites some familiarity with HTTP, Python, Git, Linux, Docker.

While this program is now up and running, with a session starting on June 16 and thereafter at regular intervals, Udacity invited students who wanted an introduction to Cloud Native Applications to participate in a 2-month Cloud Native Application Foundations course. This forms part of Scholarship Challenge Phase paving the way to one of 300 full scholarships to the complete Nanodegree.

To fill us in on what is necessary in order to qualify for a full scholarship, the Udacity Scholarships Community team launched a 1-hour Orientation over Zoom, in which all entry-level scholarship recipients took part: 

  • First, students must complete 100% of the course material,all the exercises have been completed and all the quizzes have been attempted.
  • The second criteria is the level of participation in certain Community events and initiatives organized by the Community managers.
  • And lastly, the third criteria is the criteria that was used to determine your admittance into phase one. 

Those requirements aside,students intending to proceed to the full program hould posses knowledge in: 

  • Understanding the basics of http (like client, server, and internet request)
  • Basic Python (data types, Functions, REST requests, web development)
  • Ability to use Git, Linux machines, and Linux Command Line
  • Be familiar with Web application development in any language
  • Familiarity with Docker, exposure to a CI/CD pipeline is not required but is certainly helpful. 



The full Cloud Native Application Architecture Nanodegree sets out to enable students to run and manage scalable applications in a cloud native environment, using open source tools and projects like ArgoCD, gRPC and Grafana. Students will learn to identify the best application architecture solutions for an organization’s needs, design a microservice architecture by leveraging cloud native tools and patterns, implement best practices in Kubernetes security, and use dashboards to diagnose, troubleshoot and improve site reliability.

It is comprised of 4 courses and a final capstone project:

Course 1: Cloud Native Fundamentals
Course 2: Message Passing
Course 3: Observability
Course 4: Microservices Security
Capstone Project: Uda’CityShop

The Foundations course in essence unlocks Course 1 and the good news is that it will be turned into a free course at some point after its initial presentation hence anyone can attend it. So if you are interested in the subject, despite not being one of the scholarship challengers, read on.

Foundations is comprised of 5 lessons:

Lesson 1: Welcome to Cloud Native Fundamentals

Evaluate the cloud native ecosystem

• Explore CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) and
cloud native tooling

Lesson 2: Architecture Consideration for Cloud Native Applications

• Choose monolith or microservice based-architecture for an

• Consider and evaluate the involved trade-offs for monoliths
and microservices

• Apply good development practices to an application

Lesson 3: Container Orchestration with Kubernetes

• Use Docker to package an application and distribute it via

• Bootstrap a Kubernetes cluster using k3s

• Explore Kubernetes resources for an application deployment

• Differentiate between declarative and imperative
Kubernetes management techniques

Lesson 4: Open Source PaaS

• Understand the usage and abstracted components while
using a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution

• Explore application deployment with Cloud Foundry

Lesson 5: CI/CD with Cloud Native Tooling

• Explain CI/CD and its benefits

• Apply Continuous Integration fundamentals using GitHub

• Apply Continuous Delivery fundamentals using ArgoCD

• Use Helm, as a configuration template manager, to
parametrize declarative Kubernetes manifests

• Deploy an application using ArgoCD and a Helm chart


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 15 June 2021 )