Sometimes Dragons

KubeCon North America 2019: Day 3

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This is the final part of a series of daily posts on my experiences at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2019. You can read more about the conference and the series in my Day 0 post.

The sun sets in the background of the San Diego waterfront.

I have successfully made it through a heavily scheduled final day of my first KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. I leave with a lot of information to ponder and process, but I wanted to get my initial Day 3 impressions out before I get swept up in tomorrow’s calls and travel (it’s been a long four days, so I will try to keep this short).

  • Bryan Liles (Senior Staff Engineer at VMWare) kicked off his keynote MC duties this morning by introducing keynote speaker…Bryan Liles. Liles played the juxtaposition of his intro/speaker roles for humor, but also made an interesting case for juxtaposing Kubernetes as it is today with Rails a number of years ago. Liles also skillfully constructed his argument with a good dose of humor and hip hop references (both of which I very much appreciated at 9am on the last day of a very busy conference).

  • Ian Coldwater (Lead Platform Security Engineer at Heroku)’s keynote, “Hello from the Other Side: Dispatches from a Kubernetes Attacker,” was brilliant in both structure and delivery. Coldwater entered the keynote stage wearing a shirt referencing Untitled Goose Game, which you may recall from meme cycles a few weeks back. Coldwater did not overtly reference the untitled goose at first. Their talk covered a lot of ground, asking us to consider that “Attackers are users too. And attackers have user stories”; they also argued for diversity as a key component of building better systems (while including images of black women and girls throughout their slides). While all of this was in itself excellent and important, Coldwater then included the aforementioned goose game on their list of ways to practice pen testing. This talk made me want to get into pen testing (and I am sure it also led to a giant uptick in goose game players).

  • I attended a round table on service mesh this morning, and while it was not specifically about Istio, Istio pretty much dominated the conversation. When asked about Google’s recent governance decisions surrounding Istio, the level of concern varied among round table speakers. However, considering the front-and-center role Istio played throughout a discussion ostensibly on the more general topic of service mesh, I am sure that many folks will be keeping an eye on the project.
  • Web Assembly (which resulted in some buzz during the opening keynote on Tuesday) came up in a number of different conversations I had today; this is definitely something to watch.
  • Shout out to the San Diego Convention Center staff and the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon staff.  With 12,000 attendees to manage, I found the staff to be exceptionally kind, efficient, and professional (and very helpful in navigating both the sponsors hall and the labyrinthine layout of the convention center).
  • The final pupdate: I found Puppy Pawpalooza this morning, but the puppies were running late and I had to leave for a meeting before they arrived. While I look forward to the return of this component of the Wellness Track at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2020, for now I leave you with the perspectives of folks who succeeded in working some therapy dog time into their KubeCon experience:

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Disclaimer: The CNCF is a RedMonk client and paid for my T&E to KubeCon. VMWare and Salesforce (Heroku) are RedMonk clients.

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