Re: Thoughts on KubeCon

Jaice Singer DuMars <jaice@...>

When I think about what the CNCF is trying to accomplish, both as an organization and curator of conferences, I see a much broader and inclusive mission. In my estimation, the CNCF is the keeper of what the Cloud Native landscape can and will be. It's not only providing the guiding architectural vision, but also the community, interoperability, and implementation stories. If CNCF is myopically focused on only those projects it stewards, then it is not fully supporting this critical moment in the evolution of technology. 

KubeCon provides a crucial touchpoint for all interested parties in the Cloud Native ecosystem (and movement) to connect and assess. And, it is the nature of vendors to anticipate customer needs, so of course there will be projects and presentations that allude to possibilities more than present abilities. By its own nature, the Cloud Native space is forward looking. If there's a key takeaway for me from this thread, and other conversations I have had, it's that a pure user conference focused on deeper, richer technical content would be well-received. I think user journies will always be a part of KubeCon, but we'd be doing a disservice to the world to only be that.  Having a compelling, comprehensive vision, as Dan and the CNCF team have done, moves everything forward. And it's that momentum that will serve everyone equally. We just need to channel the right conversations, in the right places, at the right times. Yes, we can improve, but I also think everyone is doing a good job as-is.

On Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 9:01 AM Yaron Haviv <yaronh@...> wrote:

100% in agreement, seems like we turned KubeCon to a cool infra tech conference vs a place for people to explore working/proven solutions to build apps on top.


We should probably first determine which audience are we after:

  1. mega-users/vendors who build their own infra and want to know which future tech to bet on
  2. user who want build apps on top of already debugged/proven frameworks/infra


both options are valid, but if we put more emphasis on #1 we cannot complain why we don’t get enough “end-user” involvement, or why we get too many vendor (infra builders) submissions.


I stumbled into my last year’s KubeCon & AWS re:invent summary, still relevant


“I couldn’t help thinking the difference between both shows was that of consumption vs. creation. AWS re:Invent was about “this is what we built and how you use it to run faster” (i.e. consumption) vs. the theme at KubeCon which was “this is how we are building it and here’s where you can download the sources” (as a community of creators).”




From: Camille Fournier <skamille@...>
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2018 21:29
To: liz@...
Cc: ruben@...; Matt Farina <matt@...>; Yaron Haviv <yaronh@...>; Dan Kohn <dan@...>; CNCF TOC <cncf-toc@...>
Subject: Re: [cncf-toc] Thoughts on KubeCon


I realize I'm chiming in late here but something has been bothering me about this for a while: it is very strange that most of the submissions for this track were for a technology that was announced in late July. That is really strange! The cfp closed in mid August, so we're supposed to believe that in the span of two weeks all the sudden the whole industry decided that knative was the one true serverless model? What? I realize the project did not begin in July (looks like most dev started in Feb), but this seems like a calculated vendor/project participant push given the extreme newness of the project, and incredibly suspicious.



On Tue, Oct 9, 2018, 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

@lizrice  | +44 (0) 780 126 1145



Liz Rice

@lizrice  | (0) 780 126 1145


Jaice Singer DuMars

Open Source Governance

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601 N. 34th St., Seattle WA 98103

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