Crossing the chasm
The 5th annual KubeCon | CloudNativeCon in Europe just ended. This time, it took place in Barcelona, Spain, May 20 - 23 and attracted some 7,700 attendees (up by 3,400 compared to last year). I had the privilege to be one of these attendees, and this is my highly opinionated report from the conference.
There’s a lot that can be said about this conference, and I’m sure you will be able to find lots of articles and reports from the conference out there, so I’m going to cherry pick a few topics to comment on.
This year, the program committee for the conference was 107 members strong. Out of 1,535 submitted proposals, about 300 were approved by the committee to be scheduled for the event. This obviously means that the vast majority of the proposals were rejected. However, the news this year was that the rejected talks could be recycled at Cloud_Native Rejekts, a new pre-conference held in Barcelona May 18-19. A former colleague of mine, who submitted a proposal for the KubeCon conference was rejected, submitted his talk to the Rejekts conference instead and was approved along with 24 other talks. This conference attracted some estimated 70-80 attendees and the talks given were generally positively received.
Apart from the Rejekts conference, there were also a number of co-located events taking place the day before the conference as usual, such as the yearly Kubernetes Contributor Summit, which brings together new and current contributors to connect and share face-to-face .
Crossing the chasm
With Kubernetes celebrating it’s 5th birthday, there are now more than 31,000 contributors to the project, and they have together made more than 164,000 commits. Including all 38 projects hosted by the CNCF, there has been 2,66 million contributions, counting all comments, issues, pull requests and commits having been made so far. Of the 38 projects hosted by the CNCF, 6 have now reached such a maturity level that they have met the CNCF graduation criterias. The six projects having graduated so far are: Kubernetes. Prometheus, Envoy, CoreDNS, containerd and Fluentd.
In the opening keynote, Dan Kohn, executive director of the CNCF, gave his opinionated view on why people and organizations should use Kubernetes:
- It works really well. Not only is Kubernetes built based on a decade of learning experience from running Borg and Omega inside Google, but also from having major architectural capabilities added by major vendors.
- Vendor-neutral open source. Kubernetes is backed by all the major players, so there will be no vendor lock-in using it.
- It’s the people. Kubernetes is really all about the people contributing to the project, and how end users can be turned into contributors.
And now, a message from our sponsors
A not so welcome news this year was the introduction of sponsored keynotes. With this, the 6 diamond sponsors where each given 5-7 minutes to have a “keynote”, which I and many others perceived as an advertising disruption in the line of keynotes to be held. For this reason, I chose to skip these ads on the second day of the conference, and instead spend an additional 20 minutes or so walking around she sponsor booths, which I found to be far more interesting. This year, the number of sponsors was about 150, so there were a lot to do on the sponsor floor, with activities ranging from project and product demonstrations, talking to vendors, having a coffee and relax, and trying to get a hand on some swag.
My overall impression is that the general quality of the keynotes, with a few exceptions, were lower this year compared to the previous conferences I have attended in 2018 and 2017. However, there were some good keynotes too. Below, you see two of them. First, David Xia shares how he accidentally deleted some Kubernetes production clusters! Second one, 250-year-old bank ABN AMRO share their Cloud Native journey.
During the conference, I picked up two quotations that I will probably use in the future when I talk about Kubernetes and Cloud Native. These were used in several contexts and they were:
“Kubernetes is a Cloud Native platform for building platforms”
“Cloud Native and Kubernetes is a journey and not a destination”
Conference all-attendee party
The mandatory all-attendee conference party this year took place at Poble Espanyol, a unique town constructed from the recreation of 117 buildings from various regions of Spain. This “town” was located just a few km from the conference center, and the attendees were driven there by bus. At Poble Espanyol, attendees could enjoy entertainment and food from around Spain.