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My First KubeCon Experience and key Takeaways

My First KubeCon Experience and key Takeaways

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Hamees Sayed
·May 26, 2022·

6 min read

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What is KubeCon+CloudNativeCon?

Before moving on to my experience as a student, let's have some context first:

KubeCon+CloudNativeCon is one of the biggest conferences in the world where users, developers and companies who have/want to adopt the Cloud Native standard of running applications and adopt Kubernetes in their organizations, gather and discuss new ideas, gain deeper insights about it, make connections and have fun. Lots of amazing talks, events, meetups, parties and competitions happen in a span of 5 days, which can make a newbie fall in love with this awesome community.

This year KubeCon was held both virtually and in person in Valencia, Spain. Although I didn't get to participate in KubeCon this year as an attendee, I saw the recorded sessions on CNCF's YouTube Channel.

So, I thought to pen down my takeaways from the keynotes and learnings of some events I attended which I felt can be interesting and helpful for someone new to the community.

So let's get started, shall we?


My Experience

As an active contributor to the KnativeProject and someone who is interested in Edge Computing, Kubernetes on Edge and KnativeCon were the events of my choice.

KnativeCon Day

(pronounced as kay-nay-tiv)


Keynote 1
@lanceball and @salaboy started off the KnativeCon day with a beginner friendly Introduction to Knative Functions.
It was fun, especially the hosts and the Game Use case was my favourite, it made the entire talk super easy to understand. They talked about what Knative Functions are; how the project was created and evolved; and most importantly how you can use them to quickly and easily deploy event-driven, Knative Serverless applications.

Getting a bit technical, these functions basically allow you to run your applications without the need to know about containers or Kubernetes. They take source code, often just a function, and convert it into a runnable artifact, deployed on a cluster, while hiding from you all of the Kubernetes and container details.

Keynote 2
In this lightning talk by @marianarra_, the impact of community meetups on the KnativeProject was discussed.
In this talk, I learned how a community engagement strategy can impact an open source project, what goals it serves, and how to get involved (maybe even as an organizer!).

These are some of the stats caused majorly due to Community meetups:


2022-05-26 193218.png

Kubernetes on Edge Day


Keynote 1
This one was quite interesting and I really liked it. To start off @SaaMalik from SpectroCloud shared some key points on how Edge is powerful in industries like telecommunication, IoT, Healthcare and Smart retail.

image.png Kubernetes has also created an Edge Computing WG, you can't miss it if you are interested in Edge Computing like me!!

In this short yet interesting keynote, the host talked about how modern applications deployed at the edge are revolutionizing industries, turning “Kubernetes on edge” into one of the most compelling use cases for the ecosystem.

Keynote 2
This session was more hands-on where the host taught how to build a Multi-Node Cluster with K3s Using ARM Devices. This talk also provided a quickstart to build edge computing environments for your needs, mentioning different use cases and challenges of this kind when building edge solutions.

Technically speaking, the host revealed the key elements and best practices to build a K3s cluster on the edge using ARM devices. The talk showed how to build this K3s cluster using Raspberry Pi and also taught how to configure your local network and a bare metal load balancer with MetalLB, and install other cloud native storage blocks such as Longhorn or OpenEBS to finally get a production ready K3s cluster.

Things I liked

Here are some of the things I absolutely liked about KubeCon:

Interactive Slack channels

Unfortunately, I couldn't attend KubeCon, I missed a major part, which was Networking. Despite that, later as I watched the talks on YouTube and asked questions on the dedicated slack channels. The members there were quite helpful and friendly in answering me.

My observation was that people with all levels of experience were hanging out on these channels and generally, the community was very responsive.

Comprehensive scale of talks

Honestly speaking, I was spoilt for choices when it came to talks that I wanted to attend. Topics ranged from development, case studies, CI/CD, DevOps, customising and extending Kubernetes, CNCF experiences, lightning talks, application of cloud native trends to machine learning, maintainer tracks, networking, observability, operations, performance, runtimes, security & identity & policy, serverless, service mesh, storage, etc.

I was like a kid in a candy shop — wanting to try multiple options all in one bite XD

Relevant use-case discussions

Personally, for me, KubeCon is not just about learning the technology and the frameworks. It’s also about understanding how different companies and industries apply these frameworks to solve real business problems. And so, most sessions that I attended, the focus was on different and exciting use-case.

Key Takeaways

Here are the takeaways I can narrow my experience down to:

Cloud is the name of the Game


I saw a strong interest and focus on cloud-related projects, including user contributions, sessions, and 1-2-1 discussions. Once again, the event organisers did a great job making topics and discussions relevant, by adopting an end-user-focused angle to most panels, and presentations of case studies.

You can take the community out of KubeCon, but you can’t take KubeCon out of the Community

Unlike other large tech conferences that are dominated by one cloud provider or vendor, KubeCon is a true reflection of what it’s all about and that is its Community. Imagine walking into your favourite restaurant one day and it’s an open buffet day. Sure enough, not every single item in the buffet was seen on the menu but you’re getting a pretty good deal with an opportunity to order your favourite dish.

One thing to note about the cloud native community is that it’s not only diverse but growing and evolving rapidly.

Together, We Can Flatten the Steep Learning Curve

This is another reason to continue attending KubeCon whenever you can. Not only do you get to learn about a lot of things quickly but meet with technology & business leaders who share experiences, use-cases, and success-and-failure stories with the community. You can easily walk to the maintainers of your favourite cloud native project to network, ask questions, or inquire about the upcoming release. (I couldn't do it sadly T_T, but hopefully at the next KubeCon)

Final Conclusion

Overall, this was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot about new projects, and the trends in the industry.

I definitely carry a lot of knowledge and to-do activities with me to move forward and hope any new contributor reading this would go and watch the recording of the above-mentioned sessions(if haven’t already) to have a nice headstart to begin their own journey!

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