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Startups Talk Democratization at KubeCon and CloudNativeCon Europe

Colin Steele
Product Communications Specialist

BARCELONA -- The democratization of technology was a key theme at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019 this week, and Kubernetes and other open source technologies are playing a major role in this trend.

Startup founders and engineers discussed the democratization of technology and other topics here during a panel discussion moderated by Emily Tanaka-Delgado, Director of Developer Relations Engagement at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

In the early days of Gapsquare, a software vendor that analyzes companies' gender pay gaps, everything ran in one on-premises virtual machine. But as the startup began performing more complex analysis, it took a toll on the end-user experience, CTO Ant Kennedy said.

"The move to cloud native has enabled us to grow and scale our platform dramatically," he said.

The adoption of Kubernetes specifically has opened the door to new functionality, such as the ability to A/B test and easily deploy new services, he added.

Sauce, a video collaboration platform provider, has used the cloud and open source to attract several enterprise-class clients, including a famous professional soccer club. The club asks fans all around the world to upload videos of their match day experiences, and "Kubernetes can help us scale at those critical moments," said Sauce Co-Founder Priya Shah.

ELEM Biotech relies on open source and cloud native tools to build computer models of the human body, which other companies can then use to test medical devices and potential new treatments. Research and development engineer Alfonso Santiago shared the company's story in a presentation at the Oracle Cloud booth prior to the panel discussion, where he said the cloud makes it possible for a startup to perform the computationally intensive calculations required to create these models.

"You don't need to worry about scalability," he said. "You don't need to worry about processors."

Kubernetes and related technologies aren't the solution to every problem, however.

"These technologies are great, but at the end of the day it's really about ... understanding the pure use case," Shah said. "Why are you building it?"

And Bob Quillin, Vice President of Developer Relations at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, gave a keynote about how many enterprises feel left behind in the wake of the transformation that cloud native technology has brought.

"We need to build a bigger, better cloud native tent -- one that's more open," he said.

Overall, though, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon attendees and speakers extolled the many virtues of cloud native culture.

"I don't think any of us would be here if it weren't for open source," said Charlie Davies, Director and Co-Founder of iGeolise.

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