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Wow! What a year it has been! After an incredible 2022, I thought it would be a difficult year to top up, but oh my! This year was intense, but in a perfect way. I’ve traveled the world and met amazing people. I want to thank everyone who approached me to say hello, get a book copy, or share a hug. 

Wow! What a year it has been! After an incredible 2022, I thought it would be a very difficult year to top up, but oh my! This year was intense but in a really good way. I’ve traveled the world and met amazing people, so many that I can't mention you all here in this blog post. I want to thank everyone who approached me to say hello, get a book copy, or share a hug. 

I am beyond excited, as I am just celebrating my first year at Diagrid, and my 2024 calendar is already getting very busy. I want to thank Yaron and Mark for all the support and encouragement I received from them in 2023. 

Because there are tons of things that I am grateful for, in this blog post, I wanted to reflect on the highlights of 2023 and what I expect from 2024.

Before getting started, I wanted to thank all this blog's free and paid subscribers blog. In less than a year, since I switched to using the Ghost platform, I’ve made it to 102 subscribers, and I take that number seriously. Your support is the main motivation behind my spending time writing, something that I love doing, but I have a hard time scheduling time to do so. I also want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who bought the Platform Engineering Kubernetes book and provided feedback to make a better second edition. This not only means a lot to me personally, but it also makes a better book for everyone else interested in these topics. 

2023 recap

As you might have noticed if you are following this blog, a way for me to catch up with communities, people, and the tech industry in general is by attending and presenting at international events. This year was the first time I attended three KubeCon’s and believe it or not, this has changed me deeply for the better. 


Starting with KubeCon EU in Amsterdam, which felt like the largest event that I’ve been to so far (around 12K people), was a great experience because I managed to do my first Dapr session track with Adrian Cole from Tetrate. Adrian is not only a world-class engineer, but also a wonderful person to learn from. For me, this was the first in-person meeting where I realized Platform Engineering was becoming a buzz beyond technical groups. With the publication of the CNCF Whitepaper and the working group meetings, I started to feel that while there were a lot of technical discussions, a social aspect was becoming a big and prominent topic in different groups.

KubeCon Shanghai was mind-blowing, not only because it was my first time visiting China, but because the Chinese communities are thrving. I was surprised to see how projects like Dapr and Knative, were being adopted by large Chinese organizations, including governmental and financial institutions. I had the pleasure of presenting with Alexa Griffith from Bloombergon and meeting the community leaders from the Openfunction.dev project. I really hope, to be lucky enough to go to China/Asia again soon. The amount of amazing stuff that is happening over there keeps calling me to go. In Shanghai, I saw the impact that CNCF projects have on a global stage and how local (Chinese) groups were participating, consuming, and contributing with not only open-source projects, but working groups that are setting the tone for what is coming next. There was a lot of Platform Engineering being discussed, and there seemed to be a lot of very mature organizations already on very advanced platform journeys.

Finally, KubeCon Chicago, was a blast, and it is hard for me to explain why because there are too many reasons! I will stick with only three: 

  • Diagrid’s Catalyst announcement: it was quite interesting to see how people reacted to the announcement and the conversations that I had with different experts in the cloud-native space. It is always mind-blowing to see how people react to specific ideas and how that perception can change by just demonstrating the tools and services we are building in action. Since KubeCon, early access is open for people interested in testing out the service and providing feedback, you can find more about this here
  • First AppDeveloperCon was a complete success: The first edition of AppDeveloperCon surpassed all expectations (personal, sponsors, and everyone involved). The audience reception, interaction, and feedback convinced everyone to push for a second edition that is now confirmed for Paris. My personal experience, presenting with Oleg Selajev from AtomicJar was transforming, not only because we had a room full of developers but because our message resonated well with a very polyglot-savy audience. 
  • The printed book made it just in time for the conference: I finally had a printed copy of the Platform Engineering on Kubernetes book in my hands, as 120+ copies were delivered to the Diagrid booth at KubeCon Chicago. Having a physical, printed copy, is a very special moment for every author, and thanks to Diagrid I had the pleasure to give away all these copies to developers, DevOps engineers, and platform engineers interested in the tools covered in the book. Signing the books and talking to 120+ people is a very intense experience, but I was touched by how much interest people showed, queueing for more than 30 minutes to get their signed copies. 

Adding to this, before Kubecon, in early in November, I became a CNCF ambassador, so I had the opportunity to catch up with my fellow ambassadors and learn from them. 

Next, let me share some of my highlights in terms of smaller events, this year mostly around Europe, where I had the pleasure to present. 

Smaller but extremely rewarding events

Smaller events are less taxing (personally) and enable people with the opportunity to connect in a less chaotic way. In smaller events, I like to catch up with other speakers, and the organizers and try to spend as much time as I can with attendees interested in the same topics as I am. I use these smaller events as my thermometer to see which projects, companies, and individuals are not only gaining popularity but really being adopted in the real world. 

This year I’ve presented at Spring I/O, DevoxxUK, DevBcn, GOTO Aarhus, and KCD UK. These are completely different conferences and events, all with their own focus, but let me tell you something, they all share a key aspect: very passionate audiences

This year at Spring I/O, I’ve presented a very very early draft of a Dapr integration with Testcontainerswhich. I took the opportunity to meet the Testcontainers folks, as they were sponsoring the event, and we defined the next steps for these integrations to move forward, not only for Java but for .NET and Go. This conference, personally, was quite awesome. Spring I/O gives you the opportunity to meet with the Spring community and a lot of maintainers of different projects that are heavily invested in the Java and Spring ecosystems. A big shoutout to Sergi ( the organizer behind the event) who this year treated speakers with Spring I/O customized sneakers! I must say, that is going to be difficult to top up, so I would go for shoes again! :) 

I was impressed with GOTO Aarhus, as it wasn’t my first GOTO conference but the first one in a while. I’ve never been to Aarhus in Denmark, but it was a great experience. Visiting my friends Thomas and Kasper in their own city was very rewarding. I must say, the quality of the event and the production behind the videos is totally world-class. We recorded an interview about the book with Thomas? It which was awesome.

DevBcn, what can I say? It is a classic. It was my 8th year in a row, and I can only expect to get better for 2024 (as there is some news around that event that I will cover in the next section). I’ve met a lot of old friends, and I’ve made new friends along the way. It was a big win by the conference organizers (shoutout to my friends Nacho and Jona!) to create a new track dedicated to soft skills and social topics that usually have no dedicated places in technical conferences. That room was fully packed for every session. 

Finally, KCD UK and KCDs, in general, are events that make your city more fun, and it allows you to have KubeCon-like experiences but with local people and international speakers. I truly believe that due to the quality of the KCDs events, in a world where I couldn’t travel to big conferences, KCDs would be my go-to. 

Online/Virtual fun

If you know me personally, you probably have heard me complain about virtual events after the pandemic. That doesn’t mean that I cannot have fun online, but that I usually feel that something is missing in those sessions. 

But this year I had a lot of fun with friends:

If you joined or watched a recording of these sessions, let me know, and help me regain my online/virtual passion. 

What I am looking forward to in 2024 

Ok, so after that very long recap, what is coming in 2024? What makes me excited, and what am I looking for this next year? 

What pushes me to wake up every morning is to keep learning from amazing people, so in 2024, as I did in 2022 and 2023, a lot of my energy is going to be focused on meeting with the smartest people in the industry to learn from them. To do so, I will need to apply to tech conferences, and fingers crossed I get accepted to some of those. 

My focus is not changing, I strongly believe in the outstanding work that is happening in CNCF communities, and after considering it for a while, I believe that I need to pay a bit more attention to the Java communities too. 

My work as usual will be divided into engineering and presenting the amazing stuff that is being build.

Conferences / Events 

While events are not my main focus at Diagrid, understanding the ecosystem and building strong integrations across communities is my main responsibility. When thinking about events to present, I am not randomly submitting presentations to any Kubernetes conference or Java event; I do choose wisely based on my experiences in these large communities. 

One thing that is clear to me is that after having beautiful conversations with different ambassadors and CNCF organizers, Latam (Latin America) is catching up! Coming from Argentina, this is fantastic news because I always knew that many talented and passionate people could not travel abroad to meet their fellow project members, and having more local events will enable more collaborations. 

I am happy to almost confirm that I will be presenting at KCD Sao Paulo and KCD Buenos Aires in 2024, and I am eagerly expecting confirmation to see if the first KubeDay Latam will happen in 2024. Opportunities like this are extremely important for companies backing up open-source projects in the CNCF landscape, as countries like Brazil have massive developer communities that haven’t had direct exposure to CNCF-style events.

Another big news is that DevBcn will be adding a KCD day to their conference, and this makes me happy in so many ways, not only because I know the organizers and I am sure they will do a fantastic job, but also because it has the potential to become one of the largest KCDs that I've ever been, as DevBcn always has around 1000+ attendees, this will be huge!

During the last few months of 2023, I’ve been helping a lot with KubeCon EU (as the Platform Engineering track co-chair) and AppDeveloperCon (2nd edition, as part of the reviewing committee), so If you are going to Paris, I am really looking forward to seeing you there. I’ve submitted two proposals to the leading conference, and while I know the chances are small, I still have high hopes, so I keep my fingers crossed! 🤞

On the Java side, I am happy to announce that I will be presenting for the first time at DevNexxus in Atlanta and Voxxed Days Zurichon. 

I am planning to submit a couple of proposals to Spring I/O and DevBcn, as my engineering work is going to be focused on Spring and Quarkus. I wish to make it to these conferences as I use these opportunities to validate my assumptions with experts and have the pleasure of showing my work to fellow developers. 

So Salaboy, what will you be working on and presenting at these events?

More APIs & more Platforms

You might have noticed that I’ve recently published some articles titled Back to Basics (APIs to rule them all #1 and #2). The first two blog posts were about how to use the Dapr APIs from our applications and what the expected developer experience is. I wrote these blog posts as groundwork for what is coming next. 

With Diagrid’s Catalyst announcement at KubeCon Chicago, the Dapr project APIs were raised to a new level for application developers. I strongly feel that my role in this evolution is to show teams and organizations how they can save time and build more complex and reliable software by using cloud-agnostic application-level APIs to build complex software. 

If you are already using Dapr or exploring it for your platforms on top of Kubernetes, you probably know how by providing application developers standard APIs to interact with infrastructure can facilitate further your platform journey. Using tools like Diagrid’s Conductor many you can manage and operate a large number of Dapr installations across Kubernetes Clusters. But what if your applications are not running on Kubernetes? And how do you enable developers to build their applications without creating local or remote clusters? How do you enable organizations well on their way with their Platform initiatives to consume these tools and APIs? How do you enable development teams to use some of these APIs in brownfield projects? 

The CNCF and Cloud Native Space

I am interested in answering these questions or at least helping to facilitate the answers based on what other communities are doing in that space. One thing is clear, from my perspective, neither Dapr (the CNCF project) nor Diagrid (the company) can answer these questions alone. The answers to these questions are not a single project or community. Hence, strong collaborations are needed to discover the intricacies behind these questions. In 2024, I will double down on these collaborations with other CNCF projects and communities. From the top of my mind, projects like Istio, OpenFunction.dev, Dagger, Knative, OpenFeature and OpenFGA consistently are close to platform engineering topics and communities and challenges that teams face today. 

What kind of integrations can we build across projects? How do Dapr and these projects work together? What kind of solutions can you build by combining these projects? That’s precisely my objective for 2024. As you might have guessed, I haven’t picked these projects at random. I am getting strong signals that these projects are being adopted consistently and that it makes a lot of sense to make sure that Dapr and these projects can help platform teams build more robust solutions for their teams. Finally, on the platform space, I am looking forward to participating or at least getting more familiar with the community behind the CNOE initiative. As Dapr plays an essential role in the platform engineering space, I want to ensure that the project has good exposure in these groups. 

The Java Ecosystem

Looking at the Java ecosystem and after a very insightful 2023, I would love to start building new developer experiences tailored to different communities and use cases. Enabling Java developers to consume cloud services transparently and enabling offline inner-developer loops have caught my attention.

From the top of my mind, I will keep looking for tools and ways to enable developers to continue using the tools that they already know while at the same time expanding the capabilities that they have available to make their applications more portable across infrastructures and cloud providers.

It is funny that in the Java space, instead of listing a list of frameworks and tools, my objective is to look inwards to see how I can integrate tools from the Cloud-Native space without disrupting today's Java development flows.

Happy Holidays!

As I always say, I do most of my work in the open, with people who work similarly and are always willing to help new people get started and collaborate, so feel free to reach out if any of these topics sound relevant to you. 

I hope you had a quiet and relaxing end of the year and are fully recharged for a fantastic year. If you see me around when I am visiting your city, or if you are ever in London, drop me a message on X, and let’s grab a coffee!