Re: Thoughts on KubeCon

Nick Chase

I'm going to say that I agree with you here, but I'm going to play devil's advocate for just a moment.

Let's say that JaneSchmoeNativeTool IS better than GNativeTool.  Even if Jane Schmoe DOES get a talk at Kubecon, will it really make a difference to adoption under these circumstances?

Not saying we don't have a problem, just saying that KubeCon talks are a necessary, but not sufficient solution.

----  Nick

On 10/9/2018 3:21 PM, Ruben Orduz wrote:
For the sake of my point let's remove "Google" altogether and replace with "HugeVendor" not to be pointing fingers since they are doing what any vendor would do in their position of influence.

HugeVendor invests/works on GNativeTool. They push it hard through their marketing channels (developer and otherwise), get 5K github stars just by inertia, suddenly you have a large number of people submitting talks about it to all conferences. Meanwhile JaneSchmoe, inc. has been quietly working hard on her version of NativeTool for years and since she has neither the marketing budget nor the acumen to pull the market one way or the other, her product is less "popular" while perhaps having the upper hand in terms of technical and business value.

My point is not that HugeVendor is submitting an inordinate amount of proposals about a particular tech, what I'm saying is they have the gravitas and the market power to blow everything else out of the water and the committees are perceiving that as actual community adoption/opinion.


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 3:07 PM Liz Rice <liz@...> wrote:
Only four of the submissions on Knative were from Google! Perhaps it goes to show that a lot of other people are also interested in this technology? Again I go back to my point that a lot of people (and not just from one company) submitting on a topic suggests that at this moment in time it's of broad interest to the community. 

I'm not going to dig out all the numbers on Istio but it was the same kind of thing. We can't pick talks that aren't submitted!

On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 7:43 PM Ruben Orduz <ruben@...> wrote:
I'm aware this is a bit a political minefield here, but I'm concerned the committee(s) are unintentionally choosing winners here (same for KubeCon EU Købnhavn). What I mean is this: "popularity" of a topic or tech can be driven/influenced by movers and shakers in the field. Google pushes for a tool they are working on will get much more traction than a competing tool from a small third party. A dramatic example of this phenomenon is having a whole track dedicated to Istio even though it was as yet a somewhat unproven technology on the field and far from production-ready for enterprise customers who tend to wait until a tech is more stable before deploying it. Several other service meshy-techs felt shunned by this. 

I'm getting the same feeling about knative here. Seeing the over abundance of talk proposals about it, it was perceived as a good gauge of community interest, which again, a behemoth is behind pushing it so that's no surprise.

I would posit we need to be more careful to unintentionally pick favorites based on popularity, specially when there's a huge asymmetry in terms of marketing power and community outreach among competitors in any given tech.


On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 1:46 PM Matt Farina <matt@...> wrote:
Liz, thanks for sharing those details. I know this is a tough job. Thanks for putting up with this extra work of the questioning and people poking at the ideas here. Anything I’m suggesting is more about clarifying for future conferences and trying to be explicit where we may not have been before.

I completely understand the desire to identify hot technologies. With 2/3 of the proposed talks on one technology it speaks to a level of hotness.

But, there are a couple other ways to look at this situation…

First, there is as a track attendee. 4 of 6 presentations on the same technology is not exciting and does not give me a diverse view. For someone not in the know it gives the impression that the space is not very diverse and that the main piece of technology is “work-in-progress” (the label on knative). Is this the impression we want conference attendees to have?

Second, there is from the perspective of people proposing sessions.

For Kubernetes there are currently numerous serverless technologies including, but not limited to:

  • knative
  • OpenFaaS
  • Kubeless
  • Fission
  • Brigade
  • Virtual Kubelet (works with serverless containers like ACI, Fargate, etc but is not FaaS)

Jupyter bills itself as a web application and notebook. It’s getting a lot of buzz but I’ve not heard of it being billed as Serverless.

There are also tools like serverless that can work with numerous technologies including kubeless (on this list) that are workflow solutions.

In addition there are things the CNCF serverless working group has been working on like cloudevents (which has an intro and deep dive out of band from the serverless track).

The serverless track then has 4 of 6 session on knative, 1 of 6 on something else (Jupyter), and sessions on other serverless technologies being rejected.

Can we all see how decisions here could be interpreted with malicious intent and how it could put a negative view on the conference and decision making process? Whether it happened that way or not, people could come to malicious conclusions.

This all leads me to other questions...

Do we want end-user presentations in this space? Since knative is hot but not ready for production some other technology would be used by them. But, it’s useful today and not “hot”. How do we encourage end-users to present here? Is “hot” or useful today more important?

Is a goal diversity? If so, mirroring presentations with only those that are hot doesn’t provide for diversity.

If some of the intent and goal components could be ironed out it would help future decision makers.

Matt Farina

On Oct 9, 2018, at 1:26 PM, Liz Rice <liz@...> wrote:

Matt, thank you for your thoughtful response. I like your list and your focus on identifying solutions for things that need to be improved. 

Yaron, by my very quick reckoning in a rather complicated spreadsheet: of ~60 submissions under Serverless, ~40 of them mentioned Knative. If number of submissions has some rough correlation to "what the community is currently interested in" (and I believe it does) then Knative is currently very hot, and we have tried to reflect this in the agenda. There's actually a seventh talk from the Serverless list that we accepted into the Observability track because we felt it straddled both topics. 

On Tue, Oct 9, 2018 at 5:15 PM Yaron Haviv <yaronh@...> wrote:



looking at the schedule, the fact that out of total 6 sessions in the Serverless track there are 4 talks about Knative raises a serious question about the bias of this process

how come the only other two sessions are on OpenFaaS and Jupyter (serverless? really)  and other efforts in the space are left in the cold ?




From: cncf-toc@... <cncf-toc@...> On Behalf Of Dan Kohn
Sent: Monday, October 8, 2018 23:35
To: cncf-toc@...

Subject: Re: [cncf-toc] Thoughts on KubeCon


Here is a summary of the discussion so far:

Liz Rice

Liz Rice
@lizrice  | (0) 780 126 1145

Nick Chase, Head of Technical and Marketing Content, Mirantis
Editor in Chief, Open Cloud Digest Author, Machine Learning for Mere Mortals

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.