KubeCon has grown from an esoteric event to one of the most exclusive conferences in tech. The tremendous success enjoyed by it is evident in its sprawling guestlist and stellar reputation in the community.
This year, 10,000 guests attended the event from the world over. Gestalt IT too was present in the scene, taking the pulse and getting vis-à-vis with the industry luminaries and many of our delegates.
We had the opportunity of catching up with Michael Levan, Kubernetes expert, and Field Day delegate, who was present in person, to talk about KubeCon and its growing popularity in the Kubernetes community.
A Platform for Engineers
The idea of KubeCon is built around giving everybody from a newly hired engineer to an industry veteran the platform to interact. “It’s very engineering-focused and community-driven,” agrees Levan. “It’s very much around the idea of helping engineers and letting them network with each other.”
Since the beginning, KubeCon has been dominated by engineers and developers who spend significant hours of their days working on Kubernetes. The event offers ample knowledge and education on the subject through talks and sessions – a refreshing break from the marketing marathon that many industry events are known to have become
KubeCon 2023 was a vibrant event packed with compact keynotes, interactive technical deep-dive sessions, and networking opportunity for all attendees. Giddy engineers, industry celebrities, renowned analysts, press, the event was swarming with people who had gathered for the love of Kubernetes.
But Kubernetes is not the only theme of the event. As known to all, KubeCon and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) are early proponents of open source and multi-vendor ecosystems. Every year, thousands of people from the open source community – organizations and practitioners – show up to be a part of it.
“CNCF is not focused on vendor-specific things. In today’s world, practitioners are the ones leading the way. Vendors want to be here because they know how big it is, and because the engineers are here,” Levan says.
The Open Source Revolution
A big contributing factor to the event’s deep reach and wide success is the rise of open source. Of late, the market has seen the ascendence of a myriad of open-source alternatives in the product space. These solutions continue to be key to driving innovation in enterprises. Companies too have done their part to support open source by adopting it and aligning their businesses around it. Thanks to that, many businesses in the recent years have come together and collaborated on open-source projects.
“Open source removes the fact that you only have one option. Yes, it creates a little bit more friction because you’ve got too many options sometimes, but it does give you the ability to actually dive in and work on it,” notes Levan.
Open source offers a software stack that is free for all to use. Anybody with relevant expertise can come in and work on the product, make it better. Being free of cost has made them some of the most financially sustainable solutions found in the market. As a result, a whole ecosystem has grown around it. The community comprises a mix of companies – really big ones that are funding large projects, and small startups that are building open technologies from the ground up to support other organizations like it.
But with products galore, picking any one is a mighty hard task. “We’re trying to figure out what these app stacks should be, the categorization, what it all looks like. It’s not massively defied right now,” told Levan.
That’s where an event like KubeCon comes in. Companies attending the event welcome practitioners to try out their products, and get educated about the solutions’ use cases. This encourages the product selection process to start from the bottom or at the middle where the real users are. Buy-ins from the top often leave out the viewpoints and expectations of those actually working with the technology. The interactive demos allow people in the trenches to learn about the technology and test it out to consider how they will be useful in their daily jobs.
For more information, watch the interview with Michael Levan from KubeCon 2023. Also be sure to check out another interesting conversation with Levan on Kubernetes and open source recently published on Gestalt IT. Thank you CNCF for supporting us and we look forward to coming back.