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  • June 1, 2019

KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU Recap - Oracle Cloud Native Labs

Kaslin Fields
Solutions Architect

KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU

It's been a bit over a week since KubeCon EU, and whether you went to the conference and are looking to review the experience, or if you didn't get to go and want to catch up, now is the perfect time to take a look back.

Oracle had a major presence at the conference with a Diamond sponsorship, a large booth, and lots of talks, podcasts, and other events happening throughout the conference.  In this post, Kaslin Fields, Cloud Advocate from the Cloud Native Labs Team, will walk you through some the highlights of KubeCon/CloudNativeCon 2019 in Barcelona!

P.S. Make sure to check out our (less than 2 minute) KubeCon Recap video in the tweet below!

KubeCon/CloudNativeCon: Day 0

The fun began even before the conference itself. While KubeCon/CloudNativeCon didn't officially open until Tuesday, many co-located and related events happened on Monday.

Two of the biggest Pre-Con events were the Kubernetes Contributor Summit and the KubeCon/CloudNativeCon Lightning talks.

The Kubernetes Contributor Summit

As the name implies, the Kubernetes Contributor summit is geared toward contributors to the Open Source Kubernetes project - and toward those who would like to become contributors.

While the summit offered a variety of opportunities for contributors to various parts of Kubernetes (members of SIGs - Special Interest Groups) to get together and collaborate, it also celebrated another important segment of the community - new contributors. With its 101 and 201 New Contributor Workshops, the Contributor Summit embraced the responsibility of maintaining the Kubernetes community by supporting new members.

Kubernetes New Contributor Workshop - 101

At the 101 New Contributor Workshop, attendees were welcomed to the community with a day-long workshop that covered both how the community itself functions, and the basics of how to get started as a contributor.  With everyone from software engineers to program managers to marketing professionals in attendance, the workshop leaders Guinevere Saenger and Tim Pepper emphasized the importance of making sure that everyone felt welcome and included in the Kubernetes Community.

A key point that came up over and over again throughout the entire KubeCon/CloudNativeCon conference, was that Kubernetes needs contributions of all kinds, not just code! For example, release management is its own challenge which requires a unique skill set. The Kubernetes Documentation writing community is a welcoming group where you can learn about Kubernetes and then share your knowledge through the documentation, without ever needing to write a line of code. Artistic skills such as video, visual art creation, and writing can also be useful for functions like marketing through blog posts, articles and other media. So whatever your background may be, the Kubernetes community would be excited to have you!

If you are interested in contributing to Kubernetes, one of the best ways to get started is to join the Kubernetes Slack. With the emphasis on community and inclusion, even newbies are encouraged to ask questions here.  Many Kubernetes contributors will tell you that the best way to get started, is to start asking questions. Eventually, as a contributor to such a large and complex project, you will need to choose an area of specialty. Within the Kubernetes Slack, you can find individual channels for each SIG within the Kubernetes Community.  Examples of SIGs include: SIG Storage - focused on improving Kubernetes' storage capabilities, SIG Testing - focused on creating and maintaining tests which verify the quality and functionality of Kubernetes, SIG PM - which helps manage the Kubernetes project as project managers, and there are many more. For a complete list of Kubernetes SIGs, you can check out the GitHub Page here.

Lightning Talks

The largest single event on the day before the conference is the lightning talks. While the lightning talks are part of the official KubeCon/CloudNativeCon schedule, they are held the evening before the conference starts, and they are all done on one stage all in a row. The lightning talks at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon are a collection of five minute talks which can cover a huge range of categories.  If you're looking to catch up, the lightning talks are a great place to start, as you can hear about a wide range of topics covered at the conference in a relatively short time.

This year, Oracle Cloud Native Labs' own Kaslin Fields (that's me!) presented a lightning talk explaining containers and VMs as cookies. This talk came from Kaslin trying to find a way to explain containers that was easy to understand, memorable, and technically accurate/useful.  Originally introduced on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's Kickin' It With Karan Youtube series, Kaslin uses a cookie analogy to help make the concepts stick.  You can check out her 4.5 minute talk here:

Some of the other great lightning talks you should check out include:

The talk of tips and tricks for the Certified Kubernetes Administrator Exam: "Ready, Steady, CKA!" by Olive Power from VMware. And the cautionary tale of "Oh Sh*t! The Config Changed!" by Joel Speed from Pusher.

KubeCon/CloudNativeCon: May the Conference Begin!

From Tuesday morning through Thursday afternoon, KubeCon/CloudNativeCon was in full swing. With a huge number of exhibitors on the show floor, exciting big-name keynotes, and more breakout sessions than you could shake a stick at, it's easy to see why this is one of the must-see tech events of the year!

Keynotes

The keynotes at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU were huge. With over 7,000 attendees, each keynote reached a huge audience of Kubernetes enthusiasts with varying backgrounds and interests.  Naturally, as the largest stage at the conference, it also held the talks with some of the largest messages and speakers with great presence! I'll highlight just a few of the many great talks here. While the lightning talks will give you great breadth over several short talks, the keynotes will give you big, meaningful talks while taking a bit more time.

The first keynote I will highlight here, will have to be Oracle Cloud's own VP of Developer Relations, Bob Quillin!

Oracle VP Bob Quillin gives a keynote on the mainstage at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU 2019.

Yes, Oracle had a keynote on the main stage at KubeCon EU! VP Bob Quillin emphasized the need for companies to embrace open source initiatives to enable customers to run workloads in the way that works for them.  Building an inclusive tech industry where classic legacy applications and modern open source services can coexist is key to the future of tech.  And tech giants like Oracle must play a key role in facilitating this new world.

While I said watching the keynotes would take up more of your time, Bob's is only about the length of a lightning talk - less than six minutes! So you may as well check it out since you're here...

Some other KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU keynotes that got a lot of attention and you should check out if you have the time are:

"Reperforming a Nobel Prize Discovery on Kubernetes" - in this keynote by CERN engineers Ricardo Rocha & Lukas Heinrich, you'll see how using Kubernetes makes doing the calculations to discover the Higgs Boson Particle look easy by splitting up the parts and completing the task faster than when it was done originally.  This was one of the top talks of the conference, so definitely check it out!

Another crowd favorite was "Getting Started in the Kubernetes Community" by Lucas Kaldstrom and Nikhita Raghunath. Lucas has been a star of the Kubernetes community for years - though he only just graduated high school this year! Nikhita is a new college grad who got involved with the Kubernetes community during her schooling. These two share their stories of how they became involved with Kubernetes and - perhaps even more importantly - why they're still with the community today. And why they think you should get involved too! If you're interested in contributing to Kubernetes, this is a can't-miss keynote!

While these keynotes will take some time, you'll find they're well worth the watch!

Sponsor Showcase

The sponsor showcase is always one of the coolest parts of any conference, and the same is true for KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU. On the showcase floor you could find booths for sponsors all the way from small startups to all the major cloud players. Companies set out eye-catching displays, gave awe-inspiring lightning talks, and did giveaways of every shape and size.

As a Diamond Sponsor, Oracle was well represented.  Attendees had the opportunity to learn about Oracle's Cloud and in particular our Cloud Native services (like our managed Kubernetes service - OKE!) directly from Oracle's experts. But that wasn't all they could do! With a cleverly designed multi-sided booth, attendees also had the opportunity to check out lightning talks from Oracle experts and our partners (like Sauce Labs!), and to test out Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with some hands-on labs right there on the showcase floor (well, at a table but you get the idea)!

Sessions

KubeCon/CloudNativeCon received an incredible number of submissions for talks, but only a relative few could be chosen. And those relative few are still more than any one person could possibly keep up with! With such a tough selection process, you can rest assured that sessions at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon were of the highest quality.

If you're particularly interested in what Oracle was up to at KubeCon/CloudNativeCon, you're in luck! The Oracle team proudly gave two official sessions at KubeCon:

The Panel Discussion "Democratizing HPC & AI: Startups Scale Up with Cloud Native" was lead by Oracle's own Emily Tanaka-Delgado, with a group of awesome panelists including Charlie Davies from iGeolise, Priya Shah from Sauce Video, Ant Kennedy from Gapsquare, and Alfonso Santiago from ELEM.  This panel shined the spotlight on the things these startups have been doing in the HPC space. An Oracle startup partner, Sauce Video also gave some lightning talks in the Oracle booth.

If you're interested in serverless and Ruby, you might check out "Ouch! What I Learned From Being Hit by a Serverless, Ruby Boomerang!" by Oracle Cloud Architect Ewan Slater.  This is a tale of the great power and responsibility that comes with involvement in open source. As it says in the abstract, "Asking an open source project to put more effort into supporting your favourite language (Ruby in my case) is asking to be hit by your own boomerang - that's a great idea, why don't you get started?"

Some of the other popular talks include:

"Helm 3: Navigating to Distant Shores" with Microsoft tech advocates Bridget Kromhout and Jessica Dean. The imminent release of Helm 3 was of great excitement to the community at KubeCon EU, with the keynote announcement "Helm 3 will no longer use Tiller" coming to great applause on the keynote stage! In this session, Bridget and Jessica do a great job of explaining the major (and they are major) changes we'll be seeing in the release of Helm 3.

"Sharing is Caring: Your Kubernetes Cluster, Namespaces, and You" by Amy Chen and Eryn Muetzel of VMware. You might recognize Amy from her popular youtube channel "The Amy Code." This fun and approachable talk serves as a deep dive into Kubernetes namespaces. An oft-overlooked, but in reality critically useful, component of any Kubernetes architecture.

Ian Coldwater of Heroku's "Crafty Requests: Deep Dive Into Kubernetes CVE-2018-1002105" may sound boring, but it received rave reviews for making this security vulnerability relatable and interesting.

And although I didn't get to attend it, I'll certainly be checking out Phil Estes (IBM) in "Let's Try Every CRI Runtime Available for Kubernetes. No, Really!"

These are just a few of the many exciting talks from KubeCon/CloudNativeCon EU. If there's a topic you're interested in, be sure to look for it on youtube - you just might find exactly the information you've been looking for.

Wrap-Up

So another KubeCon/CloudNativeCon has come and gone. With loads of useful information shared, connections made, and lessons learned.  Some of my favorite takeaways from the conference are:

You, yes you can contribute to Kubernetes! Your skills are valuable and needed, all you need to do is reach out and find out where you can lend a hand.

Excitement around Kubernetes and Cloud Native, Open Source technologies continues to grow.

And although the breadth of knowledge out there may be intimidating, a few good talks can take you a long way toward learning what you need to know!

I hope you'll take this opportunity to learn something new about Kubernetes and Cloud Native technologies. Until next time, the Cloud Native Labs team wishes you happy learning!

The Oracle Cloud Native Labs team, from left to right: Karthik Gaekwad, Jesse Butler, Mickey Boxell, and Kaslin Fields.

(Pictured: the Oracle Cloud Native Labs team, from left to right: Karthik Gaekwad, Jesse Butler, Mickey Boxell, and Kaslin Fields.)

If you would like to try out Oracle's Cloud for yourself, check out our free trial!

Are you hands on learner trying to gain knowledge on Cloud Native topics? You can check learn about a variety of Cloud Native technologies by checking out the tutorials available from Oracle Cloud Native Labs: Learn.

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