Unforgettable Moments and New Milestones: My First KubeCon Experience

Embarking on a journey to the United States for the first time, my anticipation was heightened by the fact that I will be giving my first international conference talk. Being awarded the Dan Kohn scholarship was not just a financial aid but a ticket to an experience that would unfold as a series of remarkable moments. The scholarship allowed me to be a part of KubeCon, a colossal event in the realm of Kubernetes and cloud-native technologies.

KubeCon Contributor Summit

The Kubernetes Contributor Summit is where all the contributors of the project come together to discuss about ideas and deep technical discussions around the project. The summit was a pure tech event, which I loved so much, because there was no marketing jargon being thrown around and all the talks where into the code base, architecture and tools around the project. My talk on kubernetes publishing-bot (a project for which I am one of the maintainer) was selected for the summit. It was the first time a talk was given on this project. Little did I know that the room would be filled with many more faces than I had anticipated, which made me so much excited.

One of the highlights of the summit was the chance to meet and interact with leads and maintainers of projects such as dims, mikebrow to name a few. These were individuals I had been collaborating with in the community for a significant period. Dims had given me a huge amount of help and guidance in navigating the cloud native landscape and finding me areas to work on.

CloudNativeCon + KubeCon

Following my talk, a wave of relief washed over me. The sheer magnitude of KubeCon was overwhelming, and my step tracker probably registered a personal best within the first half of the day. Engaging conversations with the core maintainers of containerd provided insights into the direction in which the project is moving forward and in general about the container world. Little did I know that this would be just the beginning of more good news. I was proposed as a new reviewer (a core maintainer role) for containerd, marking the initial step towards becoming a committer in containerd.

Keynote Moments and Inspirations

The keynote sessions were nothing short of grand, serving as a source of inspiration. Nikhita’s keynote, in particular, struck a chord, addressing themes of inclusivity, language barriers, and the challenges posed by time zones in a global community.

Networking and Swag Collection

In between attending talks by colleagues and community members, I made it a point to visit every sponsor booth, collecting swags and engaging in conversations with individuals I had previously interacted with only on slack. The vibrant atmosphere fostered connections greatly. Oh, and I finally got a professional headshot! After 10 years, I updated my LinkedIn picture. It felt good to have a new photo for my online profile.

Chicago’s Charm and Culinary Delights

The backdrop of Chicago, with its windy and chilly climate, added a unique charm to the entire experience. In the midst of engaging discussions and sessions, I also took the time to savor the local delights, particularly the renowned Chicago pizza.

My first KubeCon experience was nothing short of a whirlwind of emotions, learning, and unexpected opportunities. As I left Chicago with a head full of ideas and a heart full of gratitude, I felt grateful for all the fun and learning that will stay with me in my career journey.