KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2019

The de facto official Kubernetes developer and user conference or recruitment platform?

KubeCon – the Mecca for all cloud-native obsessive IT professionals opened its doors in San Diego in November. The KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2019 was one of the biggest events of The Linux Foundation ever. Around 14,000 visitors from all over the world travelled to the golden state to meet, network, and everyone was full of expectations for the event.

One possible explanation for the astronomical growth in visitor numbers at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon (500 visitors in 2015 compared to 14,000 in 2019) is that the mergers and acquisitions in which Kubernetes played a major role in 2018 continued. According to the Linux Foundation, 2018 marked a turning point for Open Source, which invested more than

$65 billion in mergers, acquisitions and IPOs (again, in which Kubernetes played a major role).

Another explanation for the success of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon is that the excitement for K8s has continued unabated, as developers love them, and companies try to integrate and tame them.

But what is the focus of this event? Technology? Well, from my point of view, no, it has shifted over time.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon seems like the biggest recruitment platform ever. The sponsors seem to be joining forces under the guise of technology and products, but when you talk to the guys at the booth, you always hear the same story: the companies are present to be visible to potential employees. The same trend was observed at the last two CloudFoundry Summits. Most companies have recruitment stands that focus only on recruitment. This trend is understandable, but it kills the spirit and idea of a technology conference.

There smaller conferences feel more enjoyable but limited. Taking FOSDEM as an example, the developers, engineers, administrators, but not marketing people are giving talks. If you want to know about a project, there is a high chance developer of the project are attending and avail- able to answer questions. It is good to see that the CNCF seems to try to improve this by having the CNCF project pavilion. The CNCF project pavilion allows maintainers to represent their projects and answer questions of the community in person.

The technological view of the presentations, sponsors and products is that we are all surfing the same wave. The wave to “Keep Cloud Native Classy”. New technology is shown from many different projects and companies. Projects and products ranging from easily running Kubernetes to securing your containerized applications. The project and product categories presented are container and/or Kubernetes security, surveillance, deployment, and some products for multi/hybrid orchestration. It is good to know that there is a diverse number of projects and products trying to solve today’s and tomorrow’s “problems” already.

The CNCF projects are presented by highly motivated upstream developers. During the discussions with these people we finally feel the fire for these technologies and projects. This is the spirit of Open Source.

Kim-Norman Sahm and Alexander Trost from Cloudical Deutschland GmbH