If you've stood up a Kubernetes cluster within the last 2 years, you'll know that it can be stood up fairly easy with kubeadm, minikube. EKS, AKS and other managed k8s flavors.
Getting a workload running, having it talk to other workloads and then exposing it externally can potentially be a minimum state for you to roll into production. Where things start to get interesting is when you start to look into robust traffic management. As you manage the environment longer, you'll find that you need to add security, create special traffic rules, observe and log traffic. When administrators start to bolt these functions onto their environment is when they start looking at tools like NGINX Ingress Controller and NGINX Service Mesh.
To make exploring these use cases easier, Amir Rawdat wrote a book that helps k8s administrators get these configurations up and running quickly. Through examples and even an accompanying Github repository, you'll be able to test these features in no time.
I had an opportunity to chat through this book with Amir, which is the video below.