Kubecon in the Motor City

Grace
3 min readNov 14, 2022

My very first Kubecon was two years ago. I just finished first year of university and working my first Kubernetes-related internship. It was virtual and I was nothing close to being a contributor back then.

I’m now on my fourth Kubernetes release team and the conference is more managable. Virtual or in-person, it’s as hectic as ever with up to 20 talks happening at the same time (I counted) and everyone leaves with their own version of the conference, here is mine.

Glossary
CNCF = "Cloud Native Computing Foundation"
SIG = significant interest group, a Kubernetes subgroup
TAG = technical advisory group, a CNCF subgroup

New Release Process Reflections (Contributor Summit)
The Contributor Summit is my favorite event as I get to meet with folks I’ve been working with for the past year. I hosted a round-table discussion in the Contributor Summit discussing an initiative I’m part of, the migration of enhancements collection from sheets to Github project board. We’ve received good feedback from the community and are working to maintain this traction.

a conference room donut-shaped desks in a discussion
Session I hosted on new release process

Prow Github Actions (Contributor Summit)
Prow is a job-based service cluster project. A popular feature from prow is powering Github tasks through/foo commands. Robert is working on a proof-of-concept for a Github Actions version of prow, aptly named prow Github Actions, that would make it faster for other projects to adopt this feature in their repo. The project is in its infancy (don’t mind the repo name) and is looking for help.

ContribFest (in-toto)
This is the first time Kubecon introduced ContribFest and I thoroughly enjoyed it. ContribFest is a sub-event throughout the week of Kubecon where CNCF projects would host 1.5 hours contribution sessions. I went to in-toto sessions and submitted two documentations pull requests, one of which improves the security policy. However, my favourite part of it was to say hi to the core maintainers of the project and received guidance on how to start. Being reminded that they are lovely humans who are ready to help made it a lot less intimidating.

Security
Most of the talks I attended was security related, on top of attending the first ever sigstorecon (their swag is very soft.) Here’s a few quick recap:

No One Is Saving Us But Us
My personal favorite. A serious and hearty conversation about the sustainability and intentionality of open-source, or more specifically, open-source maintainers. Paris and Tabitha offered parallels to running a mutual aid project (and a book recs.) We are the community, we have to take care of each other. This talk reminded me of one that Savitha and Divya did about burn-out in open-source at Kubecon EU 2022 (I’m a serial skipper with Netflix shows. I watched this whole thing end to end.) If you are interested in the anthropology of open-source, I also recommend Nadia Eghbal’s whitepaper “Roads and Bridges: The Unseen Labor Behind Our Digital Infrastructure”.

This year’s scholarship receipients

I owe it to the CNCF’s Dan Kohn Scholarship to be able to attend this Kubecon, unite with my fellow contributors, and meet new folks.

That’s a wrap! Talks recordings will be up sometimes in late November. If you found this helpful, I’d appreciate a like. You can find me on Twitter @gracenng.

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