Ambassador Post originally published on a personal blog by BMK Lakshminarayanan

BMK CNCF experience

In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud-native technologies, the journey through innovation, community building, and knowledge sharing is a continuous loop of learning and growth. Over the last few years, as a member of the CNCF’s (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Programming Committee, I have had the privilege of being at the forefront of this transformative journey. This role has allowed me to witness the expansion of the cloud-native ecosystem and has been a profound personal and professional growth experience. In this post, I want to share my experience and take on being the programming committee member of one of the largest open-source cloud-native conferences.

The Art of Reviewing 1000+ CFPs

One of the core responsibilities in my role has been reviewing over a thousand Call for Papers (CFPs). This process is much more than a procedural task; it is an art that requires understanding, insight, and a keen eye for innovation. Each proposal presented a unique perspective, a new idea, or a groundbreaking approach to solving complex problems. The diversity of topics and the depth of knowledge shared by the community members through these CFPs have been inspirational.

BMK Laksminarayanan CNC experience

Learning Through Diversity and Real-world Case Studies

The CFP review process was an unparalleled learning journey for me. Each talk submission was a window into the speaker’s experience, offering a different perspective and an infectious enthusiasm for sharing their open-source journey with our community. These case studies are about understanding the technical intricacies of projects and appreciating how these technologies are adopted in the real world. It was about seeing the passion of individuals who are not just working behind the scenes but are eager to bring their stories to the forefront, share, educate, and inspire.

Discovering New Horizons

Being part of the programming committee gave me a unique opportunity to delve into new CNCF projects and tools, spanning open-source and vendor-specific solutions. This exposure is invaluable, offering a firsthand look at the cutting-edge developments and innovations shaping the future of cloud-native technologies. The breadth of projects and tools discussed in the submissions have broadened my understanding and appreciation of the ecosystem’s complexity and potential to drive change.

The Power of End-User Case Studies

One of the most enlightening aspects of my role has been the insight gained from end-user case studies. These narratives are crucial, highlighting the practical applications of open-source projects within organizations. They offer a candid look at the experiences of adopting these technologies—the successes, the challenges, and the lessons learned. These stories are a testament to the real-world impact of open-source software, providing valuable dos and don’ts for others embarking on similar journeys.

From Basics to Advanced: A Spectrum of Learning

The range of CFPs, from basic to advanced, has underscored the inclusive nature of the CNCF community. There is something for everyone, regardless of their expertise level. This spectrum of learning opportunities reflects the community’s commitment to fostering an environment where everyone, from beginners to seasoned professionals, can find value, grow, and contribute.

A Heartfelt Thanks

Reflecting on these four incredible years, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the programming committee. I sincerely thank the program chairs for their trust and guidance. To the track chairs and my fellow programming committee members, your dedication and hard work have been the cornerstone of creating compelling and impactful KubeCon and CloudNativeCon events. Together, we have curated content that has inspired the open-source community, DevOps, CloudOps, and cloud-native developers to learn, innovate, and contribute to the ecosystem.

Looking Forward

As we forge ahead, the journey with CNCF, KubeCon, and CloudNativeCon remains a beacon of innovation, community, and growth. It is a journey of collective success, driven by the passion and dedication of individuals who believe in the power of open source to change the world. To those contemplating joining this journey, please dive in. The opportunities for learning, networking, and contributing are boundless. Together, we can continue to drive the cloud-native movement forward, shaping the future of technology we can only begin to imagine.

CNCF Community Groups:

Wellington CNCF Community Group:

In closing, these four years have been a remarkable chapter in my professional life, filled with learning, challenges, and, most importantly, a sense of contribution to a community that is shaping the future of technology. To everyone who has been a part of this journey, thank you for the memories, the knowledge, and the opportunity to grow together. Here’s to many more years of innovation, collaboration, and community in the cloud-native ecosystem.