Well, day two is now in the books and I have to say it was a lot smoother than day one. Maybe I tried to do less in my schedule today or maybe I just accidentally threw together a less chaotic schedule. I'm not sure, but I'll take it.
I overslept this morning and came in during Janet Kuo's Kubernetes Project Update keynote, so I can't comment much on that. I wish I could've made it for the start of everything (I'm trying to get to as much as I can), but I have to say the extra bit of sleep was pretty nice since I'm sure I'm still dealing with the final parts of jet lag.
The Keynotes, Day Two
As for the rest of the keynotes, Liz Rice's keynote on container security, admission controllers, and the basic stuff we should all be doing to protect our Kube clusters was refreshing and enlightening. I haven't been at this very long, but it's always good to know the recommendations around what I should be doing and a nice demo of how easy it really is to do the basic stuff.
Melanie Cebula's talk about how AirBnB does Kubernetes, the abstractions they offer to their dev teams, and how they give their devs an outstanding on-ramp to understanding Kubernetes and the surrounding services was great. We had just finished removing something similar at Toyota Connected but it may be worth considering reintroducing an evolved version of it. Maybe a hook run by GitHub that regenerates everything correctly each time. Major props to her for not only putting it all out there, but trying to consolidate it down into a keynote-esque window. I'd love to chat a bit more with her about what AirBnB is doing in this space!
Kubernetes is Still Hard for App Developers, Let's Fix That
Moving on from the keynotes, Aaron Schlesinger had a great talk titled "Kubernetes is Still Hard for App Developers, Let's Fix That" that expanded on some of the stuff from "Kubernetes Is Not For Developers and Other Things the Hype Never Told You" by Taylor Thomas & Jordan Olshevski (sorry, I don't have Twitter handles) and resonated well with my current experience.
There was a big focus on the difference in expectations and responsibilities between platform devs and app devs. As a platform dev, I should be working towards making the "undifferentiated code" irrelevant and a non-item for all of the app devs I support and work with. The idea of encoding current processes, conventions, and best practices into the tooling I can offer to my dev teams is great. It helps reduce the overhead my app devs have to manage, defines clear scopes and responsibilities for them and myself, and helps me move them in the right direction with minimal effort invested by them. I definitely plan on trying to draw up some basic tooling I can iterate on before the end of the year that will help push towards that state.
Open Source, Open Community, and Open Development
I was really excited for Craig McLuckie's talk following lunch and it's by and far one of the best I've attended. Audio issues aside (as if that had any impact at all), it was a great and seemingly candid conversation around Kubernetes from day one and what helped make it great.
Statements like "If it can be open sourced, it should be" and discussion around what drives adoption and community were frank and honest. I really liked the trade-offs between adoption and other community attributes; looking at my interpretation and notes, adoption could be viewed as currency that needs to be spent to gain additional project control, velocity, or operational overhead. That's not to say that adoption is lost by gaining one of the other attributes but it's a zero-sum game - something always has to be exchanged for something else.
This was also one of the less attended sessions that I went to and I would jump at the opportunity for another one like this if it was presented. I wish I could've thought of any questions for Craig when I had the opportunity to ask.
How to Train Your Kube Admins
Stephany Spencer's BoF (Birds of a Feather) session about admin training and familiarization was a great session to sit in on. I'm in the midst of trying to elevate people from "familiar" to "operationally capable" with Kubernetes and our system platform and gathered a few great ideas to map out.
Her experiences around difficulties finding an effective way to introduce Kubernetes and all of the complexity really hit home - it's easy to get basic knowledge of how Kube works, but it's a lot harder to get someone familiar enough that they're ready to operate the platform for everyone else.
Recommendations around grouping content based on higher level components and trying to tier it out based on relative prerequisites, personas and learning tracks, tooling abstractions, and even conference talks and reading clubs all came up as discussion topics. I think a mixture of all of them may make the most sense, but a really effective training and on-boarding plan really takes time to develop correctly. I need to make some time and space to develop something that works best for the teams at Toyota Connected; hopefully I'll be able to come back next year and contribute some great experience and successes back into this BoF series.
Chaos Engineering Intro
Wrapping up the conference day, I was able to attend a great BoF session on chaos engineering, the proposed working group, the current road map, and contribution recommendations for the community members.
Sylvain Hellegouarch did an outstanding job at introducing the concepts behind chaos engineering and what I could do as a community member to help drive the working group proposal and the overall quality of the community forward. I'm looking forward to the deep dive session tomorrow to get a better idea of what I can do to ensure the performance of my platform before our production dates get any closer.
Day two, in the books
This is already long enough the way it is, so I'm finishing this off with a single sentence - I took a pass on the attendee party this evening and went out for a dinner to unwind a bit and gather thoughts from the last two days.
If anyone's interested in chatting or grabbing a bite to eat tomorrow, feel free to reach out on Twitter or on Slack (I'm @amargherio there too). I'd love the chance to meet some people and chat.