recycled from an internal slack post
A colleague of mine and I set out to explore what the mysterious but divine world of Cloud Native ☁️ and Kubernetes has evolved to in the last two years of pre-recorded online talks.
Due to our untrained trip-planning we both met in Barcelona and together made the last leg to Valencia on Tuesday 17th where we arrived in the evening and after literally 5 minutes we ran into our colleagues from a supplier of us. So first friends made, yay!
At least for me quite an experience: Wednesday morning in a totally packed subway. With all those folks (many of them from germany imho) we made it into the big keynote room, just to find out, we we’re here with around 7000 other people! The keynotes in the morning we’re relatively high level and more about personell in the CNCF and some inspirational words to all of us from Van Jones.
On the other days they became more interesting, but still very polished, high-level. Like Mercedes Benz saying “Yeah, we’re running 800 clusters on prem. And opensource is the most important thing to us. End”
I’ll try to make it not too boring for the common. In general I think this was a well organized conference, but something this big won’t work any other way. They adapted good on the second day about difficult access to drinks. Where they didn’t adapt well was on the food. Yes, you don’t go there for the food and its difficult to feed 7000 people in 2 hours, but the quality was more on the lower end, I would say. 🥫
There was always enough time between the slots to change to another location or grab a drink or get approached from somebody who wants to scan your QR code for marketing. But the latter only happened in the two booth areas, where we found of course the bigger players like VMware, AWS, Microsoft and GitLab and also countless of smaller startups with, lets say, interesting offerings. 💸
It was all about their products, everybody wants to sell you their product, which eventually ended on a weird end. We had an experience at VMWare, where we were redirected from the expert, to the real expert and the really real expert but nobody really could tell us what their product actually does. 😐
But on the other hand we had a good talk with the guys from Gitlab and Grafana about their products. The space was so huge that I discovered some booth not before the third day… A cool part of the booths was a dedicated space where all of the CNCF (at least incubating, i think) projects had their booth where you could meet the maintainers of that project and really could dive into the nitty-gritty details 🤓
In general all the people I met were welcoming and nice, I also met people here and there I knew from former conferences or jobs. For the talks, at some point in time you could choose between 8 parallel tracks, so sometimes the decision was a hard one, where to go.. In general the quality of the talks was good but not awesome. A common format was „Introduction & deepdive but it was at least a 90/10 weighting. There were only two types of speakers really: the talkmaster and the nervous (maybe) first-timer.
_Sidenote: this has to mean you need do and survive it once, then you’re a pro_😎 On Thursday there was an all-attendee party where they moved 3000ish people in one your to a big finca(?) with various places to eat, Paella, Grill, Sushi(🤯) and so on.
On friday I liked the talks the most, because there were really the techie stuff. I want to highlight the one from Deutsche Telekom where they went neck-deep into Kubernetes networking and hardware and network topology. I didn’t understand a thing at some point since I do not work in telco ☎️ but at the same time it was inspiring how you can abuse that platform and do stuff apart from web-based APIs. As a suberb closure we went for some premium steaks with some friends from Stormforge 🥩 And yes, we also had a 🍺 or 🍻 at a not-so-irish pub in the old city of Valencia after that 😇
So, you definetly have to bring a technical mind and interest for that whole ecosystem but I can just encourage you to join next years KubeCon in Amsterdam! 🇳🇱