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Adit Modi for AWS Community Builders

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My Experience of Attending the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2022 (In-person) for the first time

I had an amazing couple of years, contributing to Open Source Communities and learning Cloud/DevOps in public, which really helped me interact with a lot of people. I had planned to participate in a number of international conferences in person, but the pandemic happened just as I was about to attend in-person events.

It put a stop to all of my travel plans for that year; little did I realize that I wouldn't be able to travel for another two years.

What came next was my path of coping with the pandemic, participating in local communities, and sharing and supporting people with less resources.

During the pandemic, I received a number of invitations to several international (in-person) conferences, but the pandemic and US visa slots prevented me from travelling to them. I had virtually attended a lot of conferences up until now.

I was given the opportunity to attend my first-ever in-person KubeCon + CloudNativeCon this year in Valencia, Spain, thanks to the CNCF and Linux Foundation for the Dan Kohn Scholarship. I'm grateful that the Linux Foundation and Cloud-Native Computing Foundation allowed me to attend the event.

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The Dan Kohn Scholarship program provides support to individuals who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend #KubeCon + #CloudNativeCon EU ๐Ÿ’œ

Learn more + apply here for future events.

First International trip is always special, and mine was no exception. I had planned everything and was excited for the Conference itself.

Travelling for my first Kubecon Event

What is KubeCon + CloudNativeCon

The Cloud Native Computing Foundationโ€™s flagship conference gathers adopters and technologists from leading open source and cloud native communities.

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KubeCon + CloudNativeCon is the conference for gathering developers, IT professionals, and C-level leaders across the ecosystem to share learnings, highlight innovation, and discuss the future of cloud native computing, including emerging trends in microservices architectures and container orchestration with technologies like Kubernetes, Prometheus, and many more.

Over 7,000 of the most talented individuals in the industry gather together for this event making it a great place to network with industry professionals and learn from the top cloud native experts.

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KubeCon + CloudNativeCon provides an important forum for exchanging relevant information and insights on Kubernetes and broader DevOps trends.

  • For 67% of attendees, it is their first KubeCon making it a great place for newcomers to the cloud native community to learn.
  • The top two reasons that people attend KubeCon + CloudNativeCon are for career growth/training (43%) and networking (30%).
  • 24% of attendees are developers with more than 73% in technical positions overall.
  • 7,290 companies participated, with the majority from Information Technology (67%) and Financial (11%) industries.

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My Experience

My experience at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon completely changed my outlook on the Kubernetes ecosystem. At this point, I had worked on several open source tools, but I was astonished by the variety of tools I hadn't yet discovered. The Conference offers a variety of options for attendees, including technical seminars, in-depth discussions, case studies, and more.

A live, in-person event offers attendees the chance to share fresh learnings with peers, forge strategic alliances, and reconnect with old friends. I was able to meet a lot of new individuals and share my knowledge about Cloud Tech with the larger tech community because of the "Hallway Track."

Cloud Tech Team at the "Hallway Track"

At CloudTech, Our Goal is Built a community of self reliant Cloud Architects, Builders and Developers who are eager to help people get started with cloud along with building and developing applications which impact people around us. We share latest news and articles related to Different Cloud Providers like AWS , Azure , GCP etc and much more.

Cloud Tech Stickers

Businesses introduce new items or test out new concepts at exhibitions. This gives them the chance to observe how attendees react to them and will enable them to decide whether or not they want to move their company in the same path. Attending an exhibition gives them the opportunity to see how the public reacts to their competitors' new goods or services, which can help them determine whether attendees are really interested in adopting their products.

More crucially, the majority of exhibitions or trade shows have a number of talks, seminars, and lectures by top authorities in their industry. Attendees may learn something new from these speeches that they might not have otherwise.

The AWS and HashiCorp exhibitions were outstanding. The majority of participants said they relished their sessions, and they featured some top-notch goodies. As an AWS Community Builder and HashiCorp Ambassador, I had the opportunity to interact with Developer Advocates from AWS and HashiCorp and learn about the work they are doing to support their respective communities. some amazing announcements coming soon ๐Ÿ‘€

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Day 1

My first day went by rather quickly because I had a co-located event to go to and spent the majority of the day attending Kubernetes AI Day talks.

Day 1 here I come

  • The first day had co-located events: I had posted a summary about attending the Kubernetes AI Day on Twitter:

Highlights from Attending the kubernetes AI Day

Kubernetes AI Day Highlights:

Kubernetes + AI Joining Forces in the Battle Against Cancer - Wojciech Maล‚ota-Wรณjcik, Ridge

A doctor is able to treat one patient at a time. On the other hand, engineers may create software analyzing thousands of cases every day! This presentation will focus on how geographically distributed Kubernetes clusters and AI are indispensable tools for IT professionals and computational biologists as they join forces to battle cancer. Computational biology โ€” combining AI, medicine, mathematics, statistics, IoT and cloud computing โ€” is increasing the precision and capacity of diagnostic processes.

Exploring ML Model Serving with KServe (with fun drawings) - Alexa Nicole Griffith, Bloomberg

KServe (formerly known as KFServing) provides an easy-to-use platform for deploying machine learning (ML) models. KServe is built on top of Kubernetes and provides performant, high abstraction interfaces that allow data scientists to spend more time focusing on building new models, and less time worrying about the underlying infrastructure. This open source project provides a simple, pluggable solution for common infrastructure issues with inference models, like GPU scaling and ModelMesh serving for high volume/density use cases.

Computer Vision Dog Breed Classification with Convolutional Neural Networks, TensorFlow and Kubeflow - Konstantinos Andriopoulos, Dorothea Kalliora, Arrikto

Sick of strangers at the dog park constantly commenting on how good looking your pup is, but at a loss when they ask, โ€œWhat breed is it?โ€ Me too! Why not use AI to answer the question for you? For data scientists looking for an open source and scalable way to tackle these sorts of problems, Kubernetes and Kubeflow make analyzing content in images and video much easier than trying to build everything from scratch and run it on bare metal or VMs.

A Deep Dive into Kubeflow Pipelines - Senthil Raja Chermapand, Ericsson

A Machine Learning model is only a tiny piece in a series of multiple processing steps executed as part of an ML workflow. A pipeline is a description of an ML workflow, including all the components in the workflow and how they combine in the form of a graph. Kubeflow Pipelines (KFP) is an open-source project that helps to run Cloud-native ML pipelines on Kubernetes. While most previous talks on KFP have focused on Data Scientists and Data Engineers, this talk will dive deep into KFP, covering its architecture, platform components and how the platform components work together in executing the workflow.

I tried to attend all the sessions but I might have missed one or two sessions.

I also got a chance to meet a number of folks, kunal, saiyam, shivay etc.

meeting kunal kushwaha

Day 2

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ready for Day 2

  • Co-located events were also held on the second day, including the GitOps Day session, which was quite fascinating. I spent the most of the day attending that event.

GitOps Day Highlights:

What is GitOps and How to Get It Right - Dan Garfield, Codefresh; Scott Rigby, Weaveworks & Chris Short, AWS

The term "GitOps" goes back to Alexis Richardson's initial blogpost on operations by pull request but over time it became clear that GitOps was poorly understood. At the end of 2020, Amazon, Azure, Codefresh, Github, Redhat, and Weaveworks came together to start the GitOps Working Group. The goal was to work together and invite the community to collaborate on clear principles and definitions around GitOps. In this talk, two Open GitOps Co-Chairs will share how the principles were created, what they mean, and some common misunderstanding about what is and isn't GitOps.

Keynote: Everything as Code: Declarative Application Delivery with GitOps Workflows- Christian Hernandez, Red Hat

Modern tools are a key component to building a successful application delivery framework based on the GitOps principles. Combining the advantages of Tekton, ArgoCD, and now StackRox open source projects, deliver security without compromising the quality or speed and encourage security, SRE, and application development teams to get declarative. Join us to see an example framework for what it means to really deliver everything as code.

100,000 Different Ways to Manage Secrets in GitOps - Andrew Block, Red Hat

Any GitOps implementation involves managing a wide range of resources. Sooner rather than later, there will become a need to manage sensitive assets, such as passwords or tokens. So, how can these types of assets be handled appropriately so that they are not visible in plain text when stored in a Git repository? Secrets management is a prevalent topic in the cloud native ecosystem and given its importance, tools and frameworks have been developed that can be applied to not only the content itself, but also within GitOps engines. Understanding where, how and when they can be used could make all the difference when employing proper security measures while implementing a GitOps solution. Attendees will learn: * Tools for detecting the presence of sensitive assets within Git repositories * Strategies for encrypting data at rest * Integrations with purpose built secrets management engines * How sensitive assets can be stored and used when working with public cloud providers * The mechanisms for which GitOps engines can aid in the management of sensitive resources Upon completion, attendees will no longer have an excuse to leave sensitive assets unprotected again!

Organizing Teams for GitOps and Cloud Native Deployments - Sandeep Parikh, Google Cloud

Large scale Cloud Native deployments typically include multiple teams running multiple applications across multiple environments - but how should teams be organized to enable efficient software delivery? How should responsibilities be split between platform, DevOps, and application teams? In this talk weโ€™ll walk through the different approaches teams can adopt for organizing Git repos, handling upstream dependencies, and managing software rollouts. This talk will go in-depth about repo structure and strategies for managing the release process, as well as how to enforce policies across configs and manifests.

Infrastructure as Software with GitOps - Justin Garrison, Amazon

The cloud has enabled abstractions and automation, but Infrastructure as Code (IaC) doesn't scale. You can use declarative YAML or imperative scripts and still lose control. Infrastructure as Software (IaS) allows you to control and scale infrastructure with the same practices as applications. GitOps is an implementation of IaS with lots of benefits over IaC. We'll look at how it's different, when you should use it, and where it potentially breaks down.

There were a couple of lighting talks, I enjoyed the one by Tracy from Codefresh. Even though I tried to participate in as many as I could, it is actually impossible to attend every session.

I also got a chance to meet a number of folks on the second day, Walid shaari, caleb, tarun etc.

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Day 3

I took part in a number of sessions on Day 3. Most of them are shared below:

Keynote: 7 Years of Running Kubernetes for Mercedes-Benz - Jens Erat, Peter Mueller, Sabine Wolz

Years ago, software engineers faced hard times at Mercedes-Benz: spreadsheet operations, manual processes, grown infrastructure and strict governance. A grassroots initiative of engineers accepted the challenge to change the game โ€“ and their silver bullet was Kubernetes. Join us on our journey from introducing Kubernetes 0.9 on managed servers to an on-premises self-service cloud platform with close to 1000 clusters on Cluster API. You will learn about our stake transforming a data center with a young team that mostly did not know enterprise processes before. We describe how mixing naive visions and a strong believe in open source with lots of resilience made the project a success.

Spark on Kubernetes: The Elastic Story - Bowen Li & Huichao Zhao, Apple

Apache Spark is a unified analytics engine for large-scale data processing. People are moving Spark and batch workload to Kubernetes due to its uprising popularity. There are many challenges to running Spark efficiently on Kubernetes, for example, supporting autoscaling-based workloads. In this talk, we discuss building a large scale Spark Service on top of Kubernetes. We will also walk through autoscaling on a multi-tenant platform with advanced features such as physical isolation, min/max capacity setting, bin-packing, scale-in and scale out controls, and more. These improvements show significant CPU and memory utilization savings for Spark on Kubernetes.

Been There, Done That: Tales of Burnout from the Open Source World - Savitha Raghunathan, RedHat & Divya Mohan, SUSE

Staying home has erased the line between work and life for many folks in the tech industry and around the world. Initially the extra commute time was utilized by many, including the speakers, for learning new tools, skills, and technologies. This boon eventually turned out to be a double-edged sword with overcommitting at or/and outside work leading to an overall feeling of overwhelming stress. In this talk, Divya & Savitha will share their own experience with overcommitting over the course of the pandemic and reflect on how they could have handled it better. At the end of the session, attendees will walk away knowing when to stop saying yes and how to draw their own boundaries thereby reclaiming their work-life balance.

I also got a chance to meet a number of folks on the third day, farrah, ricardo, tom, liz rice and justin etc.

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Also AWS does throw the best parties, this one was from AWS Open Source Team.

Day 4

Keynote: THE API IS PEOPLE! - Stephen Augustus, Head of Open Source, Cisco

We spend a lot of time talking about building systems and not nearly enough time talking about building the communities that support those systems. Whether you're just getting started in the cloud native community or a long time member, there are countless opportunities to learn, contribute, and collaborate!

How to Migrate 700 Kubernetes Clusters to Cluster API with Zero Disturbance Tobias Giese & Sean Schneeweiss

Cluster API promises "to simplify provisioning, upgrading, and operating multiple Kubernetes clusters." Do you find it challenging to migrate your existing Kubernetes cluster provisioning to Cluster API? Would you like to benefit from all the features that Cluster API offers and manage your infrastructure the Kubernetes style? At Mercedes-Benz, we run and operate more than 700 Kubernetes clusters and 3,500 machines all over the world in on-premises OpenStack data centers. By migrating to Cluster API, we replaced our legacy provisioning, consisting of Terraform, custom self-written tools and Kubernetes operators. Expect valuable insights on what it takes to transfer production systems into the control of Cluster API with zero downtime and zero customer impact. Get to know the technical challenges of migrating, how they can be solved and how to extend Cluster API functionality to fit your needs.

Why Kubernetes Can't Get Around FinOps โ€“ Cost Management Best Practice Vanessa Kantner & Manuela Latz

Anyone with the right permissions on a cloud provider can acquire resources or spin up Kubernetes Clusters. While developers can joyfully make cloud spending explode, traditional finance and procurement departments look around in wonder. The FinOps approach and the Foundation, which coined the word, dedicate itself to continuously enhancing best practices around cloud financial management. Managing Kubernetes resources is the masterclass of it. Having cost transparency and control over many dynamically scaling containers across many server instances can be difficult. Vanessa and Manuela share the experience in monitoring Kubernetes costs and planning budgets accordingly. This session covers how engineers โ€“ responsible for incurring costs โ€“ can support cloud cost management to prevent overspending and how this approach enables and empowers colleagues from finance, procurement and business in their daily doing. This, in turn, gives the engineer more freedom to explore new solutions.

Scaling K8s Nodes Without Breaking the Bank or Your Sanity - Brandon Wagner & Nick Tran, Amazon

Kubernetes (k8s) has enabled applications to be mostly agnostic to the underlying VM infrastructure it is running on. Many clusters can benefit from the cost savings of utilizing spare VM capacity offerings commonly called Spot. In this session, we will discuss some of the best practices for utilizing spot capacity within a k8s cluster and some of the tools that will make your life easier managing the underlying VM infrastructure.

I also got a chance to meet a number of folks on the fourth day, mohammed Faz, Birthmark Bart Farrell (he/him), Franck Pachot, Kiran Mova and many more.

Day 5

  • Giving back to society and making a positive contribution has no equal. Giving back is also a great way to get to know your community and its citizens. You have the chance to meet a lot of new individuals when you volunteer.

We took part in a campaign called "Helping Ukraine: brainstorm an open source job board for Ukrainian professionals"

  • some stickers at the central forum/solution showcase which were great.

CNCF does have some great stickers, what should I get?

  • Lots of companies are hiring, don't believe check for yourself:

lot of open source companies are hiring for - check here

Key Takeaways

200+ presentations, including technical workshops, deep dives, case studies, and more, were provided at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. I was able to expand my understanding of industry best practices and fresh trends in the quickly developing cloud native ecosystem by attending these sessions.

The "hallway track" at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU gave me the opportunity to network with business and technology leaders to work together on the technological implementations and difficulties we're working on while forming strategic alliances that will help our organization.

The most renowned specialists in the field and important maintainers of the most well-known projects in the cloud native ecosystem will be present at this premier vendor-neutral cloud native event. I was able to learn more about these projects' roadmaps and how we may apply them to our software stack as a result.

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Apart from the Conference Days, I spent the majority of the trip seeing new areas of Spain; I'll write more about that in an other blog.

amazing photos from my spain trip

Also I have a separate blog post about my Top 5 Sessions at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU, you can check it out here.


Meeting new people and having great discussions, the networking after covid was really great! The quality of the sessions was great, especially the technical deep dives. It was a good mix between the different types of talks.

Thanks to Ashish, Rupesh, Walid, rufaida and Avik for making this trip memorable.

Overall, I had a terrific experience at Valencia's KubeCon EU.

Here is a twitter thread about my first international trip.

Through this guide I have shared my experience of attending my first KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Event (in-person). It was a memorable experience and I am extremely grateful to CNCF for this opportunity.

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