CNCF offered 103 diversity scholarships to developers and students to attend CloudNativeCon + KubeCon North America 2017. In this post, our scholarship recipient Crismar Mejia, a Software Engineer at OpSec Security in the Dominican Republic, shares his experience attending sessions and meeting the community. Anyone interested in applying for the CNCF diversity scholarship to attend CloudNativeCon + KubeCon Europe 2018 in Copenhagen May 2-4, can submit an application for here. Applications due March 2nd.

By Crismar Mejia, Software Engineer at OpSec Security in the Dominican Republic

Crismar Mejia

Originally posted on Crismar’s blog.

I was awarded a diversity scholarship to go to CloudNativeCon + Kubecon in Austin. I was selected in the second round, only 30 scholarships were offered at first. However, thanks to the efforts of the diversity committee they were able to offer 73 more scholarships. I’m very grateful for the diligence of these ladies to extend this amazing opportunity to more people.


I’ve always found the Kubernetes community to be open. Good people like the Service Catalog SIG who had some much patience guiding me towards my first contribution. Or the kubeadm folks that helped me troubleshoot when I got stuck building my first bare-metal cluster(setenforce 0 on reboot, never forget). Kubecon was no exception. Since Day 0 I found myself talking to experts as well as beginners. Everybody I approached was willing to talk about their ideas and work, as well as listen to mine and offer advice. I was able to meet people that have helped me in my journey-shout out to Nikhita and Aaron-as well as meeting some new friends, like Jackie, Jonathan, and many others.

Service Mesh: Where the winds are flowing?

I was able to attend an Istio Workshop on Tuesday. I had heard about Istio and service mesh before but here was when I finally was able to grasp the concept and understand the problems it looks to solve. Overall, I perceived a lot of enthusiasm around Istio, it looks like is going to be a great year for Istio as more applications migrate to k8s and use it.

Lightning talks

I attended the lightning talks to see Nikhita’s talk about contributing to k8s(great talk by the way). I stayed for the rest and got many ideas from them. As Sarah, the MC, puts it “lighting talks are meant to spark ideas”. Special mention to Jonathan Rippy and his “Watch This!” talk. Of all the whole conference this was my favorite talk because I felt connected to due to my own experience putting to together a cluster with kubeadm.

Austin, TX, Winter Wonderland

Sooooo, it snowed in Austin. Not my first time seeing snow, but I’ve been living in the Dominican Republic for the past 4 years, so my body was definitely not ready for it!


This conference has been a great step in my career. I was able to learn a lot about cloud and k8s, grow my network, and have a better idea of what I need to learn next to keep growing. I hope I can repeat it sometime in the future, maybe even put together a talk to share my own knowledge and experience.

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