9 min read

KubeCon EU 2024 🥳🤯

Loads of exciting initiatives at KubeCon: - The Dapr project is getting more attention - Application Development Working Group was kick-started - Keptn and Argo collaborations ❤️ - Dagger is 🔥 - Cilium and eBPF have conquered the networking space - Big projects are applying for graduation
KubeCon EU 2024 🥳🤯

KubeCon gets better and better, and this post can quickly become a thank you post for everyone I met last week. So, let me start with some key milestones that might be important to share with people who didn't attend the conference.

Here are some highlights:

  • The Dapr project is getting more attention: I was paying close attention to the community around the Dapr project, and I can see a change from KubeCon North America to what I experienced last week in Paris. There are still a lot of newcomers to Dapr, but most people have heard about the project, and I got much more detailed questions. We see an uptake of developer-centric topics, and AppDeveloperCon was the perfect place to measure developers' interest in best practices and tools that matter to them. More on this later.
  • Application Development Working Group was kick-started: I have the honor of leading the Application Development Working Group under sponsoring the TAG App Delivery. Keep an eye on this, as more news is coming soon. If you are interested in these initiatives, please comment: https://github.com/cncf/tag-app-delivery/issues/588 . The main goals for this group are being defined, but we want to ensure that SDKs, developer tooling, testing tools, and developer-focused APIs have a place to grow in the ecosystem.
  • Keptn and Argo collaborations ❤️: As part of the Governance Board of the Keptn project, I had some excellent conversations about the project's direction. Keptn can provide an out-of-the-box observability layer on top of GitOps projects, but promoting closer relationships with tools like the Argo Project (CD, Workflows, Events) can take Keptn to the next level. After checking with some Argo core maintainers and project founders, I fully support this initiative to make Keptn closer and more specific to the Argo project stack. If you have comments, ideas, or suggestions, please drop a comment on the issue: https://github.com/keptn/community/issues/355
  • Dagger is 🔥: I spent a fair amount of time with the https://dagger.io folks, including watching Solomon's Keynote, and it is super interesting to see how tools, teams, and adoption evolve when teams iterate fast. While I like Dagger and what the project is doing, I have a list of things I would like to see happening in the project, so I keep a close eye on its evolution.
  • Cilium and eBPF have conquered the networking space: after talking with people from Isovalent and other service meshes, I am more convinced than ever that there is a market for a more layered networking + application-level mesh. An efficient networking layer can be expanded to cover more application-focused capabilities, such as providing the Dapr APIs while handling more complex networking traffic patterns. https://github.com/cilium/cilium/issues/26585 I will keep those conversations going to see if we can develop some examples of how these solutions should look like.
  • Big projects are applying for graduation:
  • Docker opportunities: I had conversations with Docker folks, and I am convinced that companies like Docker can bring the Kubernetes communities closer to developers with more specific tools and abstractions. After working with Dagger and Testcontainers to build developer experiences, I think my next target will be working directly with the Docker runtime.

Now, let me share a bit about the events that I've attended at KubeCon and all the other things that happened in Paris last week:

  • Cloud-Native Rejekts & meetups
  • Co-located events & Openshift Common Gatherings
  • KubeCon announcements, parties, and booths activity

Cloud-Native Rejekts & meetups

Cloud-Native Rejekts (Sunday - Monday)excellent is my kind of conference. It is small (around 300 people, maybe a bit more) but has very serious speakers and relevant topics. I would consider going to Rejekts only if I cannot get into KubeCon. You meet speakers with expertise across a wide range of topics without being surrounded by ten thousand people. I was happy to meet Jared from Crossplane, presenting Composition Functions, a significant milestone for the Crossplane project. I didn't have a presentation on this occasion, but I used this opportunity to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in a while. I also want to thank Mathias and Tiffany for their complete and exhaustive coverage of the observability space. Videos from Rejekts should be up soon, so keep an eye on their Twitter account.

After Rejekts on Monday, I had the honor of visiting the Ubisoft offices in Paris for a Dagger meetup. The attendance and the Dagger team itself blew me away. I can see how they are attracting more and more users to Dagger, which is excellent. I had so many interesting discussions that I returned home full of new ideas to experiment with.

Co-located Events & Openshift Common Gathering

Co-located events (Tuesday) are buzzing; everyone attending the main conference was already there. Being part of the committee organizing the second edition of AppDeveloperCon (the first in Europe), I was proud to see a room full of developers eager to learn about tools, practices, and experiences from a great lineup.

We started the event with Marcos from Dagger, and I must admit, I was a bit intimidated by having half of the Dagger team, including Docker founders and keynote speakers, in the room. Still, I think the session went pretty well overall. Our session titled "Building polyglot developer experiences in 2024" dived into reducing the complexity of using tools usually associated with Kubernetes for local development flows. We showed the Dagger Dapr Module in action and how to easily create local preview environments using changes pushed in a remote branch.

A big shout-out to my co-worker and friend Alice Gibbons for her presentation on securing your cloud-native development practices using Dapr.

I had a peek at ArgoCon, and as always, the attendance was awesome, a room packed with platform engineers wanting to learn more about how to scale and work with Argo for production-grade scenarios. I was happy to see some Keptn project love over there, too.

I enjoyed attending the Openshift Commons Gathering close to the conference venue in the afternoon. I had the pleasure of signing around 100 copies of my Platform Engineering on Kubernetes book sponsored by Red Hat. If I signed a book for you, and you have a picture, please share it and mention me on Twitter (@salaboy).

This was followed by a panel about platform engineering hosted by Lian Li with Atul and Thomas in front of a room full of platform engineering teams from all over Europe.


Friends, friends, and more friends. The more friends you make, the more interesting conversations you will have. Old and new friends made my KubeCon experience much better and more rewarding.

I started my KubeCon experience with the ambassador breakfast before the opening keynote.

Right after the keynote I did a book signing session sponsored by Loft Labs; I've. I can't thank them enough for the opportunity. I've been following vcluster and Devpod for a while now, so I am a big fan of Lukas and Fabian for driving those projects forward.

It was really good to see that the Dapr maintainers session led by Josh and Yaron was popular, with a fully packed room.

Followed by a very active Diagrid booth.

After that crazy Wednesday, I had two sessions at the main event. The first one with my friend Thomas titled "Unlocking New Platform Experiences with Open Interfaces".

The second one was with my friend Dave from Broadcom/VMware about Knative and Knative Functions, where we demoed the latest version of Knative functions and how you can store 🥐 using the Dapr Statestore APIs.

Finally, I closed the conference with another book signing session for the CNCF Book Club, Sevi and Carlos books in the CNCF space.

But it is all about people, and we all know it. I cannot recommend it enough if you have never attended KubeCon in person. I met mentors, mentees, and friends with whom I know I will collaborate for the rest of the year.

Slides & Videos

Here are the slides from the sessions. I will try to link the videos when they are up. If you have any questions or comments or want to start contributing to Open Source projects, drop me a comment here or on Twitter.