CNCF offered diversity scholarships to developers and students to attend KubeCon + CloudNativeCon China 2018. In this post, Dennis Salamanca Farafonov shares what sets KubeCon + CloudNativeCon apart and why you should apply to become a Diversity Scholarship recipient. Anyone interested in applying for the CNCF diversity scholarship to attend KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019 in Barcelona May 20-23, can submit an application here — applications are due March 11th — and anyone interested in attending KubeCon + CloudNativeCon China 2019 in Shanghai June 24-26, can submit an application here — applications are due April 15th.

By Dennis Salamanca Farafonov, a technology solutions professional, open source specialist, and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer/Administrator with Azure

Dennis Salamanca Farafonov wearing KubeCon + CloudNativeCon beanie hat in conversation with another gentleman

Before KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, I have never attended an IT conference before. Although, I have always been obsessed with them. The idea of thousands of people gathered in the same place by a single technology in such a massive event, tickles my interest in an extraordinary way. To go and hear from the experts about their experiences or attended the talk of one of your “IT Heroes”, is almost a religious experience. I know that many of us in IT feel the same way; and I’m sure that if any of you get the opportunity to go to an event like this, you will do it in a heartbeat, no questions asked.

It’s just amazing how our field of work has evolved in the last two decades to become one of the most important and influential ones in the world. It is no surprise how many people are attracted to technology nowadays and why this type of event has become so massive. Today, it’s almost as if there is a conference every month. But many of these are hosted by big multi-billion-dollar companies, whose purpose is to evangelize their products or to perform big announcement of the “What’s Next” in their own portfolios. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying that this is something bad — not at all. These big companies are why we are where we are, and why “Cons” have become mainstream in the tech industry. I had to mention the big company “Cons” to talk to you about KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. Oh man, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon is a whole different beast.

Just to say that KubeCon + CloudNativeCon revolves around a completely open source project that has reached a level of importance that we haven’t seen since the Linux Kernel; with a hundred or more companies, big or small, gathered to share their experiences, collaborate and work together to shape the next generation of IT, leaves me with no words to describe it. To bring people together and collaborate across different backgrounds, is the core of what open source is, and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon represents that in a whole new level. And we can’t ignore that it is only thanks to foundations like the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and The Linux Foundation that events like KubeCon + CloudNativeCon are possible.

It gives me the chills to only think about how big Kubernetes has become in the last two years. KubeCon + CloudNativeCon and Kubernetes are changing our way of thinking about how we do software and information technology, the industry has awakened and opened its eyes to see that it’s through collaboration, networking and open code that we can reach success in not only in a faster way but in a more reliable and exponential way.

Diversity is the basis of what we as an open source community are and it’s through programs like CNCF’s Diversity Scholarship initiative, that we enable KubeCon + CloudNativeCon to represent the values of who we are and empower those who without this tool wouldn’t be able to experience, receive and give back to the community first hand in an event like this.

If you are into open source, Kubernetes and all things cloud native, as a Scholarship recipient, I encourage you to apply — just go ahead and do it. The only regret you’ll have is not to have done it. The experience of being there, the people you are going to meet and the knowledge you come back with is invaluable.