Guest post by Ines Cheikhrouhou, DevOps and Cloud consultant, Agyla originally published on Medium

Hi, My name is Ines and I’m one of the lucky people who was sent an invite as a diversity scholar to Kubecon + CloudNativeCon in Barcelona.

First of all, I want to thank CNCF for this great and life-changing opportunity for me.

I was very happy to receive the email and I was very excited to meet the kind of people who love staying in front of computers. It motivates me a lot to know more technical aspects of Kubernetes, mainly the core project. However, little did I know that this event was much more than that. It gave me all of the motivation and also all of the technical information and knowledge that I wanted to have.

Ines Cheikhrouhou

My first day at KubeCon was the AWS container day co-located event which was a perfect choice for me since I work with AWS and I wanted to dig deeper into it and other cloud-native projects.

Throughout the day, I learned a lot about what’s new in AWS with relation to Kubernetes or simply other cloud-native tools.

One of the best discoveries for me was the APP mesh which is based on Envoy Proxy, as well as some advanced services for observability such as cloudwatch container insights.

In addition to that, I learned about the huge benefit of doing machine learning development workflow on Kubernetes, as well as the advantages of kubeflow.
And mostly, the famous eksctl CLI that helps provision your cluster in an easy way.

And here are my favorite pictures for the first day.

Wording on a screen projector in conference room:Me: "Any vollunteer to manage openstack?"Community:
Wording on a screen projector in conference room: Work with people who are smarter than you

The end of the first day was very successful and it made me feel like I belonged with these smart and motivating people. I also got the chance to tour the beautiful Barcelona city (Thanks CNCF for the great choice).

The second day was in a different place which is the main event place at the Fira Gran Via, which was a HUGE building. It was very organized and you would find the planning of the day in each corner.

The day started with a perfect keynote where we learned about almost all of the CNCF projects with details from people who work daily on these projects and I got to listen to some of the best speakers such as Dan Kohn, Bryan Liles and especially Cheryl Hung, a woman who inspired me a lot. Seeing all of these women who participated as speakers made me want to work hard and be there on stage one day.

And last but not least, the famous presentation from Lucas and Nikhita that marked a starting point in my life which is a contribution.

I always thought it was just some smart people coding in a shared GitHub account on a project that I would probably not understand. But it’s more than that, it’s not even about coding, it’s the family that it creates, a family that is composed of people who encourage you, help you and inspire you to show your best. It’s about sharing and improving.

And here is the famous picture that presented the CNCF projects.

Screen projector showing CNCF projects

After the keynote, there were so many sessions that I wouldn’t want to miss and there was a huge place for sponsor showcase which was the perfect place for you if you had a question in mind or request of a demo or a sticker and a t-shirt. I got to meet so many people and I got to see a lot of demos and know about new CNCF projects that I didn’t hear about before.

Wallpaper of CNCF sponsors on a wall

And It was also such a pleasure meeting talented people such as Joe Beda, Ali Saad, Arun Gupta, Janet Kuo and all of the speakers that taught us so many things in a short period of time.

A gentleman presenting on a stage discussing about "Storage is complicated. Kubernetes makes it manageable!"

I also participated in the Networking and Mentoring session the next day which was the best part of the whole event for me. I was lucky to share a table with 3 of the greatest people I met in the event, Nikhita, Hippie Hacker and carolynvs. They introduced me to the world of contribution, the steps to follow, they taught me where to start and I even made my first PR that day.

These kinds of people and all of the community’s love of Open Source is what makes it fun and interesting to be a part of. And I hope everyone like me whom at a certain point were scared or doubtful, knows that it’s really a safe place to be around.

In the end, the event was a SUCCESS for me and I enjoyed the 5th-anniversary party of Kubernetes and the big Poble Espanyol party with free food and drinks.

Ladies and Gentleman performing on stage with dance and music

Overall, Kubecon was a dream experience for me. Before this conference, I wouldn’t have been able to talk about Kubernetes or other Cloud Native Projects with confidence. But after this event, I gained a lot of knowledge and met so many people who offered me help. The whole experience offered me great opportunities to improve my personal and professional development. I’m excited to share this experience with my friends and I’m inspired to start being an active member of the community.

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020 stage

With this, I look forward to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2020. Thank you KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Europe 2019 and thank you CNCF for the amazing opportunity.

CNCF sponsors stickers

Here is a quick summary about what you’ve probably missed during this event, and let’s start with OpenTelemetry that is the next major version of the openTracing and openCensus projects, CNAB that allows one to package up multiple formats and their toolchains into a single artifact, different Kuberentes operators, how bezel helps with streamlining Kubernetes application CI/CD, containerd, crio-o, Autoscaling multi-cluster observability using Prometheus, and linkerd, building docker on Kubernetes using build kit and the great cloud-native storage orchestrator Rook.

In addition to Jaeger, its agents and its scaling, enhancing security made by Envoy SDS, the new fluentbit after fluentd for extending your logging pipeline with Go, the amazing Grafana Loki for logs and its integration with existing observability tools, multiple types of load balancing such as gRPC load balancing and its benefits with service mesh and Kubert VMs that provides networking functions to Kubernetes objects.

And lastly, the superstar Helm, Prometheus and custom metrics of k8s, Calico and SPIRE and their integration with Envoy, the new trending GitOps strategies and the serverless future of cloud computing.