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Blooming and Booming: Amsterdam Hosts KubeConEU

For visitors to Amsterdam two weeks from now, the City will seem slightly out of balance. While tulips will be top of mind for many people (the annual Tulip Festival runs from March 23 through May 14th), the café conversations and streetside chatter will be about much more than flowers. With more than 10,000 Kubecon attendees, exhibitors, and staff added to the mix, the city will be overrun with all things Kubernetes.

Source: Amsterdam Tulip Festival website.

Yes, it’s KubeConEU – this year in Amsterdam.

Coming after last year’s KubeCon EU in Valencia – also a packed event – this year’s event promises to be just as energizing but perhaps more colorful. If you haven’t heard – it’s sold out – a full four weeks before the doors even opened. And if you’re one of the lucky 10,000 in person attendees, get to your seats on time to avoid missing out on any of the sessions. Virtual tickets are still available – and the best part about that is you get to choose whatever seat you’d like. I’ll be attending the keynotes virtually, so come sit with me; I’ll be the one in the black Kubernetes t-shirt. Find me!

Below are just a few highlighted sessions featuring VMware speakers and their community colleagues. For a complete list of VMware community leader presentations, visit the KubeCon schedule site and fill your “dance card.” 

Welcome Dawn Foster to the Stage

We’d be remiss if we didn’t call out Dawn Foster’s keynote presentation on Day 1. Dawn’s a frequent contributor to this blog and to many open source conferences around the world. Her expertise and insights around community management, project health, and open source and commercial alignment and strategy development are widely sought after, and KubeCon is no exception.

In the Day 1 Keynote entitled “ Building a Sustainable CNCF Project Contributor Base,” Dawn will discuss critical success factors for project sustainability, tips for developing a contributor growth strategy, mentoring, and implementing a contributor leadership ladder. By following Dawn’s advice, you can start to address the ever-present challenge of maintainer burnout: too much work, not enough people, not enough time. By fostering a positive contributor culture in your project, you attract more contributors, diminishing the burnout threat.

Catch Dawn later in the week in a more personal setting as part of a panel discussion around the TAG Contributor Strategy. You guessed it – Dawn will be joined by community leaders from Buoyant, CNCF, Ambassador Labs, and Red Hat to discuss methods to help open source projects succeed through best practices, governance, mentoring, and more. Listen in for their advice on Thursday afternoon at “TAG Contributor Strategy: What We Get Out of It (and you could, too).”

From SIG Cluster Lifecycle to Kubeflow

Two more members of VMware’s OSPO team can be found on the KubeCon stage: the first, Lubomir Ivanov, will be joined by Justin Santa Barbara (Google) to talk about the Kubernetes SIG Cluster Lifecycle. In this contributor focused session, Lubomir is scheduled to present an update on SIG subprojects and how they fit in the Kubernetes ecosystem. He’ll also provide details on how presentation attendees can get in touch with the group and contribute. Lubomir has been involved with Kubernetes for more than five years – you can read his perspective on managing large projects like Kubernetes in his blog from 2018. Attend his session to see how the ensuing years might have changed his point of view. 

On Friday afternoon, Diana Atanasova, the second member of VMware’s OSPO, takes the stage with Deutsche Telekom’s Julius von Kohout to discuss Hardening Kubeflow Security for Enterprise Environments.This session will cover how Kubeflow architecture aligns with Kubernetes security best practices, identifies its shortcomings, and examines some of the main security breaches in Kubeflow, such as unauthorized access to other namespaces and the underlying cluster, impersonation of other users, and unauthorized access to someone else’s data or artifacts. Diana’s involvement with Kubeflow mirrors her background in machine learning (ML) – read her blog about building trustworthy AI models for additional insights.  

N is for Nimble, R is for RUN = Nikhita Ranhunath

Nikhita Raghunath will surely be wearing comfortable shoes and carrying throat lozenges at KubeCon. With three different stage appearances, stage fright will have a tough time keeping up with her. Nikhita starts her KubeCon experience on Wednesday with “Walk, Jog and Run: TAG Runtime Discussion” co-presenting with Ricardo Aravena. In this session, attendees will be rewarded with a better understanding of the CNCF landscape in the workloads and runtimes space. You’ll hear about key projects, the impact of future trends (WASM, and MLOps for starters) and an overview of key CNCF workload management projects. Of course, the biggest takeaway: how to get yourself involved. 

Then on Thursday morning, Nikhita takes the keynote stage for “Tales from the Cloud Native Community,” presenting alongside her TOC community colleague Ricardo Rocha from CERN. Smile Nikhita, there’s only 10,000 people listening to you!  

Not two hours later, you’ll find Nikhita on a panel discussion entitled “Connecting the OSS Dots.” Participating alongside Nikhita will be Kiran Mova, VMware Engineering Manager and a host of other community leaders from Microsoft, Google and Amazon. The panel will tackle one of the thorniest issues in open source – how to balance an employer’s needs and the community’s ambitions. Can you really deliver on both goals? Among the topics they’ll discuss: metrics are used to justify OSS, including chop-wood-carry-water work; strategies that have worked and failed to keep their reports motivated, and techniques to enable employees to grow in both the community and enterprise ladder.

Release Management – at the scale of Kubernetes

It’s no understatement to say that Kubernetes is complex – to deploy, run and manage. Each time a new Kubernetes release reaches you, it represents a massive amount of community effort. It takes thousands of contributors, hundreds of code changes, and weeks and weeks of coordination across time zones, schedules, and more. Sit in on this session hosted by VMware’s Nabarun Pal and Madhav Jivrajani to look behind the Kubernetes release “curtain.” You’ll hear about the 1.24 release – from how the release was almost at a standstill because of a bug introduced in the Go 1.18 standard library to how missing a few edge cases led to a release-blocking scalability regression. What did the team learn this time around? Attend the Wildfires, Firefighters and Sustainability Learnings session on Thursday afternoon to find out. 

As the Dutch say “Tot dan” (see you there)

There’s much much more to choose from at KubeCon EU. For a complete list of all VMware employee led sessions at KubeCon, tiptoe on over to VMware’s dedicated event microsite and pick a bouquet for yourself. Don’t forget to take some time to smell the roses.. er , enjoy the tulips while you’re there!


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