Ship It! – Episode #69
The cloud native ecosystem
with Taylor Dolezal from the CNCF
Maybe it’s the Californian sun. Or perhaps it’s the time spent at Disney Studios, the home of the best stories. One thing is for sure: Taylor Dolezal is one of the happiest cloud native people that Gerhard knows.
As a former Lead SRE for Disney Studios, Taylor has significant hands-on experience running cloud native technologies in a large company. After a few years as a HashiCorp Developer Advocate, Taylor is now Head of End User Ecosystem at CNCF. In his current role, he is helping enable cloud native success for end-users like Boeing, Mercedes Benz & many others.
Sourcegraph – Transform your code into a queryable database to create customizable visual dashboards in seconds. Sourcegraph recently launched Code Insights — now you can track what really matters to you and your team in your codebase. See how other teams are using this awesome feature at about.sourcegraph.com/code-insights
Honeycomb – Guess less, know more. When production is running slow, it’s hard to know where problems originate: is it your application code, users, or the underlying systems? With Honeycomb you get a fast, unified, and clear understanding of the one thing driving your business: production. Join the swarm and try Honeycomb free today at honeycomb.io/changelog
Retool – The low-code platform for developers to build internal tools — Some of the best teams out there trust Retool…Brex, Coinbase, Plaid, Doordash, LegalGenius, Amazon, Allbirds, Peloton, and so many more – the developers at these teams trust Retool as the platform to build their internal tools. Try it free at retool.com/changelog
Flatfile – Data import is broken. We fixed it. Flatfile’s powerful out-of-the-box solution takes the data import burden off your shoulders, freeing you to solve bigger business problems and build products that people love.
Notes & Links
- 🎬 KubeCon CloudNativeCon EU 2022 Keynote
- This episode started with a tweet
- Phippy as far as the eye can see! 👀 🦒
- KubeCon CloudNativeCon EU 2022 - Transparency Report
- Take the 2022 Cloud Native Survey
- A recap from OSS Summit North America 2022
- 🎬 Navigating an Infinite Landscape - Taylor Dolezal - PlatformCon 2022
- ArgoCon 2022 - September 19 - 21, 2022
|4||03:28||The secret to happiness|
|5||08:02||What was it like to work for Disney?|
|6||12:27||What was your role at Disney?|
|7||15:47||Day to day at Disney|
|8||17:09||Close to the content?|
|9||18:50||Taylor's story from Disney|
|11||24:25||When did you change roles?|
|12||30:54||From Hashicorp to CNCF|
|13||36:55||Taylor and Mercedes|
|14||41:00||The openness of the big companies|
|18||53:43||Transparency and CNCF|
|19||57:05||Highlights from OSS Summit|
|20||1:00:00||Inspiring end user stories|
|21||1:02:58||Big company stories|
|22||1:05:36||Free training course!|
|23||1:07:15||16-point checklist for success|
Click here to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
I remember this as if it was yesterday. I was there, front row - actually, second row - KubeCon EU 2022. And all of a sudden, this very happy person came bouncing on the stage. His name was Taylor. He did exactly the same thing for this podcast. Welcome, Taylor, to Ship It!
Hey! Hi, everybody. Happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
What’s the secret to your happiness? You have to tell me.
Honestly, I’d say it’s a variety of things, but mostly the fact of being in Los Angeles, the sunshine, the tea, and having two really, really happy pups and a partner with me.
That’s just amazing. I’ve seen happy people… And then there’s you. I mean, you’re a whole other level of happy. And it’s constant, how do you sustain that? Because obviously, things don’t go your way all the time… So how do you push through that? You speak to a lot of people, you see a lot of things…
It’s easy. I think that it’s really good to divide up those feelings with – I preface this by saying “You haven’t seen my GitHub notifications.” So that’s where I work everything out, is on GitHub, and then I’m able to be happy offline. But in all seriousness, I think there’s just been a lot that I’ve seen throughout my life; I’ve seen really great interactions, really not-so-great interactions, and the thing that has really stood out to me has been this concept of really understanding people, being empathetic, getting to see their point of views… And I’m just really curious about figuring out what other people are thinking at any given moment. If there’s a disagreement or something that I’m not able to understand from somebody else - I really like being able to sit down with them, or speak with them and say, “Hey, I really do want to understand your perspective.” And once you have that, you’re better able to empathize with folks, and then kind of see what their core motivations are, and a lot more humorously.
In other cases, I’ve talked to some people, they’re like “You know what, I just I just haven’t had lunch”, or “I haven’t had a glass of water in three hours.” So it’s even noticing these little things that you can just – sometimes the day is really rough, and so if you might forget to do something that you normally do do. So it’s really good to keep account of that, and focus on what’s important, and make sure that you’re feeding yourself, nourishing yourself, and doing what’s required for you. If you don’t have any gas in your tank, it’s going to be hard to help others out on that front.
Yeah. I’m seeing so many things here coming together. The first one, if I had to do a summary - looking after yourself, knowing what is important to you, making sure you take care of yourself first… And then paying attention to those around you, paying attention to the little things. There’s so many giveaways of what people need, of what people are actually arguing about… And I think experience plays a part of that, too.
[06:00] Now, I’m wondering… I know that in 2016 you were working for Disney Studios. And Disney is, I think, one of the happiest places in the world. Now, were you the same before Disney? Did something happen there just to make you realize just how serious we take ourselves? Because I think that’s one of the key takeaways from Disney, we just take ourselves too seriously, most of the time…
It was really interesting, so I was living in Cleveland, Ohio, before going to Disney, and living in Los Angeles. I really do love it here. The cost of living is definitely up, the sunshine tax is real, but I think that it’s just a fun place to be. Cleveland, Ohio, I think is actually ranked second for most cloudy days, and so a lot of people are affected by seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, as its termed, which is a very apt acronym… And so working in a hospital, I got to see open heart surgeries, I got to see, again, just the complete ends of the emotional spectrum. Really happy people, really not-so-happy people, and going through wild situations. Disney really enforced, or reinforced that happiness.
And so I think that kind of getting to see everything within that contrast was really helpful for me, too. At Disney I really learned the art of how to tell a story, and what’s important to people; how you can really feel that full catharsis of something that’s going on. And let’s be real, it was fun to be able to talk to friends back home, and for them to reach out and say “Hey, could you do a call this weekend?” I’m like “No. I’m helping support the Star Wars launch. Bummer… Sorry, can’t chat… But maybe next week?” [laughs]
Wow, that’s a good excuse. Like, “Oh, no, no, please, please, please… Yeah, of course. You do that. That’s very important.”
It’s like, “May the force be with you?” Yeah we’ll talk later.
With all of you, everyone listening. So tell us a bit more… What was it like to work for Disney? And how many years were you there? And obviously, what do you do? Many more questions, but let’s start with those.
Yeah. Disney - it was a lot of fun to interview. So what was really interesting was at the time, my partner was saying that – so she’s an artist, but still, really good backgrounds within math and science, but just really is able to articulate herself well within the artistic capacity. So designing logos and branding… And I’m more of the – I like computer science, and numbers, and so we’re really good… Opposites do attract. It’s a really great match on that front. We have a lot of fun; we have a bunch of hue lights in our house too, so that’s the perfect melding of our abilities. So it’s always a fun time.
What she had said was that, you know, living in Cleveland, there just aren’t these opportunities for either of us, unfortunately, at the time. Open source just wasn’t the biggest there; it was difficult to find a role in that. And for her, within the artistic capacity, that just really didn’t exist. That was definitely more San Francisco, Los Angeles, the West Coast. That’s where we’ve always had our minds on. So we got into a conversation, and she said, “You know what, we’re doing it. And then within the next nine months, we’re going to be on the West Coast.” I was like, “I don’t think so… That’s wild.” Six months later, we were in Los Angeles.
Wow… Someone knows how to plan, and organize, and push through…
We moved really fast, literally and figuratively. And so it was fun to have that change of pace. It was really scary though, because all of our families, and just this life that we had known. I’ve moved around a lot. My partner was mostly within the same space for many years, but I’d moved a lot in my childhood, and so I’m a little bit more used to picking up, moving, changing, and really just kind of looking for a place to call home, and I’m happy that Los Angeles has been that.
[09:56] But the interview process was interesting… I did get to interview with multiple different companies, some in San Francisco, some in Los Angeles… And just - again, that sunshine was just such a great motivator. So it was a bit intimidating to see all these different companies, and kind of break out of that comfort zone when it comes to what you’re doing for your day to day. And so Disney was like “Oh, my gosh!” The imposter syndrome ramped up. And I studied really hard for the interviews, and just prepped myself, psyched myself up and got ready.
I remember going through some big O notation questions in the hotel, just hours before those interviews in the panel. There was one question that they almost stumped me on, pertaining to content delivery networks, and graphics and whatnot, because that is absolutely very big for Disney, as as we’ve seen too with Disney Plus, and whatnot. Granted, that was years before, but that was a – it was a really, really fun interview process. I felt really good coming out of that interview too, and then I was just ultimately very psyched to get that offer letter from them.
So it was fun kind of leading up to that… And then starting, it was - again, same intimidation, but I kept leading with a mindset of like “This is fine. We’re gonna figure this out. This is a learning opportunity.” In life, you can see a mistake as something that has happened, and kind of dig into that, and just have it circle around your head, or you have this opportunity to take that and say, “Nope, this is a learning opportunity. I can still pivot and move forward.”
A lot of people think that success is just that, right? It’s just success. But it’s not true. There’s failure laid into that, there are mistakes laid into that, and that’s truly progress, is being able to try new things, and break through comfort zones, and experience that newness. That’s where you’re going to learn the most, is in those uncomfortable moments, those conversations, those opportunities.
So that was very much the case, especially moving away from family and all that we had known, and then getting out to Los Angeles and starting something new. As a Disney employee too you get that badge that you’re able to get into Disneyland as an employee. Granted, not every single day; there are some blackout dates… But that helped too, to help to kind of really instill the culture…
I can imagine you, going on the roller coaster… When work wasn’t exciting enough - I mean, I’m sure it was every single day, “Okay, I need to go on this roller coaster, just pump up my adrenaline, so that everything is so easy comparison…” So what was your role at Disney?
My role at Disney was senior systems engineer. That later became systems reliability engineer; kind of similar in nature to Site Reliability Engineering. But I started there working within the theatrical distribution groups. So those are the teams that are managing the unlock codes for the movies themselves. So they didn’t really handle shipping and distribution, like a package or a hard drive delivered to a theater, but the way that it works is really interesting. Typically, there are hard drives, there’s either satellite uplinks, there are hard drives… It’s not typical that there’s films so much anymore. The movies get recorded on film, but in most cases, 99%, it’s a digital format. And the way that theaters work is such that they kind of opt into a subscription type of program. So there are unlock codes that are shipped from the studio, or the distributor to the movie theater, so they can unlock… And it’s typically on a weekly basis. So you can have this hard drive, but it will re-encrypt itself and lock itself so that you can’t go and take that home and go watch that movie without having that access code.
So, if you’re lucky enough to have that private yacht and that subscription, that’s a really great outcome for you. But that was really interesting… We also had taxonomies of all the theaters within the world, if they had 40 time warps, or Smell-O-Vision, or IMAX… All these different types of categories. The first two are fictional… Or are they…? And so that was that was really fun to kind of see all the different pieces that came together to handle just getting the movies in the theater and prepping it for your viewing experience.
[14:13] So I worked with that group for about 18 months, and then moved over to the operations team, where we reconfigured to really focus on becoming an SRE team. And that’s where I started leading from that capacity in interacting with more folks within Disney, that eventually led to further career progression. But I liked that start. Moving to Kubernetes as the standardization for how we managed our applications, because there was so much of – there were over 300 different application types there. And that’s not including different environments as well. If you want, you can multiply by four, so there’s just lots of work to be done. The team at that point in time was five people… And so we couldn’t go to each and every application, reasonably, and say, “Okay, yeah, we can support you” and be told “Oh, we do things a little differently here…” You know, different build scripts, different means of standardizing. So we said, “Nope, let’s go to Kubernetes, let’s containerize. Let’s go full-in on this.” And it was really successful across the board.
We got to knowledge-share across different teams and sections, so like theatrical with residuals, paying out actors and the performers, along with talent management, and hiring… So there were different contexts and sections within Disney where we would set up Kubernetes clusters, but we’d get to share these best practices, or see different ways in which people were using workflows, so that we could actually… You know, like, “Oh, I never thought about that” and get to work with one another to really develop something that would be solid for a longer period of time.
What was it like day to day? Did you use GitHub? Did you have your own GitHub enterprise? What was it like? And which cloud? Were you on all the clouds?
Disney is a huge place, and so asterisk is really – that’s the “It depends”, very general answer. But on my team specifically – it was pretty split. I think that we really focused on using GitLab… So both options were available to us. And Disney was very good at kind of locking things down. They have to be, with movie leaks, and everything… When they store pre-release content in the cloud, they intentionally lock themselves out of it. So they have to call the cloud provider if something goes wrong. They rely fully on machine-to-machine interactions with one another.
It was really interesting too, because the culture at Disney was very much - the production culture, at least - focused on you had seniority based on how close you were to pre-release data. Your title really didn’t matter as much, which was the most interesting part; it was all about how close you were to the content, and that was kind of how the hierarchy developed, at least in the culture. So that makes sense, especially if you wind the clocks back 20-30 years, that makes a little bit more sense… But that’s definitely permeated, up until the time I left. It might be different now, but that was very much the case, then. Just a really interesting thing.
How close were you to the content?
If I told you, I’d have to – you know, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. [laughs]
I see, I see…
So I had some colleagues that worked on the video encoding team. So I didn’t directly work with it, but I worked with the systems that would interact with those systems as well. So that, or kind of help share –
So this close, basically…
Exactly, yeah. I could see it. I couldn’t touch it, but I could see it.
But yeah, that was a lot of fun. It was interesting too to see how all of the different movie groups went about transcoding, and kind of encrypting, and dealing with those video files, too. So yeah, mostly – still, still very GitOpsy-focused. It really was interesting to find out what workflows worked best within the Kubernetes capacity. I know that right as I was leaving, they were kind of working through some GitOps frameworks and ideologies, but… I haven’t spoken with too many folks since, but I’m curious as to where their cloud-native journey has brought them.
[18:10] Yeah, I’m curious, too. I’m really curious, too. I mean, if you get to speak to someone, or if someone’s listening and knows someone at Disney, I’d be very curious to have that conversation, just to see what is it like… Because our listeners are increasingly wondering how the big companies work, how do they run their systems, and what is different there. Because startups, it’s – I mean, we know so many stories from startups. But when it comes to the big companies, like Disney, Microsoft, Google - I know that they’re very different, but when it comes to Disney, and multimedia, and media in general, they’re really big name. Pixar - maybe that would have been a better name to give in the same category.
You mentioned that Disney is really good at telling stories. And I agree. I think they’re one of the best. And they’ve been one of the best for a long, long time. Walt Disney - oh, my goodness. There’s so many lessons there. So if you were to tell one story, a memorable story from Disney, that is related to technology, what would that be?
So one engagement I really enjoyed at Disney was moving into that capacity, running the operations team and transitioning that to focus more on site reliability engineering… You know, patching immutable infrastructure, working with the platform team and adopting more of their services. And that was where it was most apparent to me, because I got – my manager came to me and said, “You know, I’d really like it if you and one of your colleagues did a roadshow, and kind of met with different people across different verticals, organizations and teams.” I’d given a couple of presentations before, and so I was asked, “Okay, you seem to this public speaking thing, so could you go over here and do that in this capacity?” I’m like “Of course.” So I got recruited for that, and I really had a lot of fun, because there were different platform offerings to talk about it, which was really good to do, and kind of reframe it from the business perspective. So I understood it very technically, but I’m able to kind of speak to stakeholders, and I also understand that context as well, just with prior experience and things I’ve done with in my career.
So that was one of the key moments where I realized the power of being able to fuse these perspectives together, and then present that as a story, and put a lot of puns in there, too. So as we talked about logging services, there were pictures of trees that had been chopped… So yes, tons – you can only imagine what the puns looked like in the slide form… They were really good. Shout-out to my buddy Steve Wilcox on working with me on that front.
We had our whole spiel down, our type-5 performance down, so that was quite a bit of fun… But that was where I saw that really shine through, was because we had some folks that were either – just had a little bit more friction in working with the systems engineering teams. It was the same old silo that you would see with Dev and Ops, right? The developers wanting to move quickly on features, the systems teams wanting to work really, really fast on being compliant with things, and meeting TLS 2 now 1.3 let’s go, go, go, go! And let’s do best practices!” And then sometimes the app teams can’t move that fast, because they have other things – So all of that, being able to have a sense of that, and be able to talk to “Okay, here’s how we can implement these things”, and then help develop out those products, create more documentation, or more reasoning on why that’s a good idea… It really came out of that.
So that was the importance that I saw, through storytelling, across the different groups, as well as making those connections… Knowing that, “Oh, this person works really well within this area”, or being able to connect people together, and have them tell the story of their success to another, or a failure or a misunderstanding within a certain area. “I thought containers would do this.” “I thought containers would never reboot…” It turns out they do, and they get moved constantly. It’s like, “Yeah, that’s how they work.”
So that was really good… And then just kind of really bringing the human side of technology to people. I think it’s very easy to get lost in that, or like “I’m right. This is the best way” and that’s not always the case. It’s not on or off; there is that in-between. It’s very much a – it’s not a digital thing. Being digital is actually very analog when it comes to culture and practices.
So after Disney, I know that you went to HashiCorp. Did you change your role as you joined HashiCorp, or did it happen after you joined it?
Honestly, it started near the end of Disney. I remember at the time it was very stressful; not just for me, but for the world, because that’s when Covid really took root and took effect. I think it was probably two or three weeks after Disney decided “Nope, everyone’s working from home” kind of timeframe. So beginning of April, maybe mid-April. But I remember getting an email from the HashiCorp recruiting team, and they said, Hey, your profile is really interesting.” No, they did it more eloquently… [laughter] It’s like “We’ve been meaning to talk with you about your car insurance.” But no… [laughter]
“You tell good stories. We need someone to tell good stories.” I think that’s how it went. “We’ve heard this story, it had your name on it, and we want to know more. We want to talk.”
Yeah. “When you’re not at Disneyland, we would really like to talk.”
Oh, yes. Yes. [laughter]
They sent out an email, and it was… Mostly everyone has gotten recruiting emails. If you haven’t yet, you will, I promise.
From HashiCorp. Do you have to be on LinkedIn? Is that it? Is LinkedIn how they get you?
That’s the secret. That’s the secret.
Alright. So thank goodness I’m not on LinkedIn. Like, ten years… I think I said “No. No more LinkedIn.” Okay, good. Yeah, that was the main reason. All those emails. So many emails. But anyway, sorry… Please. You were saying…?
[26:07] It’s like, unlinked… Yeah, I’ve got a new network for you to join…
Unlinked. That’s it. Yes, please. I’ll join that one.
It’s so distributed no one can contact you. [laughs] HashiCorp reached out and asked about, like “Hey, would you like a developer advocate role? Looking at your previous experience, I think this might be something that you’re interested in.” And I remember sitting there for, honestly, 2-3 minutes and just kind of rolling that over my mind… And the tumblers were all clicking, and I was going, “No. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah… Yeah! This makes a lot of sense. Oh, my goodness!” Because at the tail end of my time at Disney, it was really focused on those interactions with various teams, leading the SRE team, driving strategic things… And so it was really this cross-functional job where I took a look at product… It was engineering, it was product, and just kind of all these other concerns. Marketing was one aspect of that… So I really saw that… At HashiCorp – every organization is a little bit different. When it comes to developer advocacy, where does it sit? Is it in marketing? Is it engineering? What’s the core driving this?
So at Hoshi Corp, it was really nice… HashiCorp has an incredibly strong engineering discipline. So if it’s a character builder, that’s where the stats are maxed out, is in the engineering department, 100%. So I was really excited about that, because I wanted to strengthen some of those infrastructure skills; working with TerraForm, I’d been using it forever… And then yeah, really build out that public speaking tenant, right? Because I loved doing that at Disney. It made a lot of sense for me to go into developer advocacy, because I loved talking with people and seeing that spark in their eyes when they understand the concept or the topic. Seeing them come in confused, and leaving with like “I get it now.” Truly, that’s what makes me so happy to see, and to be a part of that joy. And being able to do that with so many other folks… I was over the moon at the possibility for that.
So it was a long interview process, over about six weeks, but I was happy to finally get that offer and then to get started there, because… You know what’s better than helping people out, learning as you go, and then sharing all the things that you learned?
Favorite moment at HashiCorp? Do you remember it?
Yes. So when I got started, my first week was just before HashiConf for them. It was obviously a digital event, and so most of the team wasn’t able to kind of jump in and help out… But understandably so, right? They were getting ready for a conference… One of my colleagues was MC-ing, and so I got a lot of time to read. So immediately – also a very strong document written culture there. So being able to look at RFCs, and see some of the initial ones from 2014 that Mitchell and Armon had worked on… Incredible to get the experience, to be able to read that and go deep… And again, understand those motivations. See what’s going on, like what’s in your head as you’re designing this, developing this. A document does so much. It’s like a picture of the Grand Canyon or another natural wonder. You get a sense of it. It’s not the full thing, it’s not like being there, but you kind of get to see those motivations, which is really cool.
And then I remember hearing like “Oh yeah, have you heard about the secret projects we’re working on?” I’m like, “Wait, what?” “Yeah, we’re gonna be releasing two new products coming up here in the next couple of months. One is Boundary, one is Waypoint. And the Waypoint one is focused on Kubernetes, and kind of that Heroku PaaS workflow in the cloud.” I’m like, “Ah, this is awesome.”
So getting that, and then just having it be incredibly accessible to go and work with that team, and talk with them, like “Hey, I’ve contributed to Kubernetes. I really want to get involved in this, and would love to speak with you all.” So I met really, really talented, really wonderful people on that team, and just immediately got to work with them, pair that with TerraForm, do some really fun and cool demos… Again, you know, memes involved; they may or may not have involved Obi Wan and “Hello there!”, you know, that [laughs] And updating images so that gifs can actually be in motion… Really, really fun stuff. But I think that was kind of the immediate joys as far as working on that team.
[30:09] The Developer Relations team is just incredibly empathetic as well. Some of those people – I just haven’t had as profound work relationships with people before going to HashiCorp too, because these people, you know, being in the community space, they also have to understand the highs, the lows, the social nuances, understand product, understand media training… You can’t just rattle things off, you have to think about things sometimes. What might make sense to you might not make sense to others, and just all of those things as well. So in developing out those skills, I really liked working with those people, and I still keep in touch with them regularly. They’re all fantastic, both current people there and alumni. Just absolutely wonderful to work with.
And then after HashiCorp, you went into CNCF. How did that happen? First of all, what prompted you? Or was there a poll? Did you just come up with the idea? How did it happen?
So I’m a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons, and I just roll this 20-sided dice to make my decisions.
Microsoft, CNCF, Google… Okay, okay…
“Try again later, what does that mean?” So that one’s really interesting… So at HashiCorp, it was – when was that? So I was just coming off of going to AWS re:Invent; I gave a talk about CDK for TerraForm, and was honestly feeling on top of the world getting that opportunity to speak to so many folks. Things were coming back in-person, and being able to speak with people directly… Granted, still with masks, but it was really good to have those kinds of interactions and see a person in front of me, and speak with them.
Not just a head. There’s more to it than just the head. [laughs]
Yeah. Just like “You’re not in 2D anymore. What’s happening here?! You’re not an iPad on wheels, oh my goodness…!” [laughter] I loved being able to see people. And coming off of that, it was a little bit more of a quiet period of time, too. HashiCorp had just IPO-ed in the beginning. I think it was December 8th of that year, too. And then Priyanka reached out to me about – I think it was the 19th of December… So reaching out, and said, “Hey, I have this potential opportunity for you. Would you be interested in talking?” And getting to work with the CNCF before, and knowing Priyanka from the Kubernetes space and other CNCF capacities, I was like “You don’t say no to a meeting with Priyanka. Of course, I’m absolutely going to have this conversation.”
So we were able to meet up in January - over Zoom, not in person - and kind of talk through what the role needed, what the focus was… And the way in which she painted it was perfect. My heart is always going to be within the community space. So getting to, again, help people out, help educate… I’m in charge of the end user ecosystem, so getting to work directly with people using these CNCF projects, tools, workflows; people that aren’t directly aligned with vendors, and kind of pushing things from more of that feature perspective. Like, let’s talk about usability, let’s talk about what is really working for these companies, what is not, and getting that feedback back to the right people.
So again, getting to employ those skills - it was something that Priyanka talked about being incredibly important. And then being able to work with these open source communities, and the Kubernetes project, and so many others within the CNCF landscape have been very close to my heart. I’ve just had the most experience within Kubernetes so far, but WASM, and Prometheus, and all these other things that are upcoming and worth focusing on - I’m excited to jump into those, too… But really great to be back working with my friends within the open source space. So I weighed that…
I was really happy at HashiCorp. And to me, that’s been one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my career. Because you have this – an IPO is good. That’s a move in the right direction. The economy right now - question mark. But when it comes to everything like that… On how you define progress in most companies, that’s a good move forward, especially depending on what you want to do.
[34:15] So I weighing that was really difficult, and kind of seeing “Okay, I could go and do this for x more years. I really like the space and getting to work with people.” Or I can go and learn more skills when it comes to the open source space, but maybe less so when it comes to TerraForm and all these other things I’ve worked with for most of my career. And so finally, spoiler alert, I’m at the CNCF now. Sorry, sorry, if you didn’t read the book or watch the movie… But I’m so happy here, and I really – someone once told me that life is the problems that you choose to put in front of you.
And not a negative implication at all, but I think that when it came to – I took a really hard look at seeing “Does it make sense for me to look at infrastructure through this lens for the next 2, 4, 6, 10 years? Or does it make sense to kind of zoom out of it, interact with more people and lead things more strategically, take a look at all the different ways in which people are accomplishing their infrastructure needs, goals, working through their problems? Are there any really novel ways in which people are trying to solve these things?” Seeing even the scientific community, take a look at some different use cases there - it’s really incredible. I got to talk with Riccardo, who’s on the program committee for Kubernetes, and talking about some of the organizations that use – like CERN and others, that use Kubernetes. He gave me a shout-out to another group that’s actually using Kubernetes in their space telescope; that’s while, that’s so cool. So we’ve heard about stars on GitHub, but actual stars, mapping those out and looking at those with Kubernetes… That’s incredible.
Which group is it? I mean, that’s really interesting.
I’m blanking on the name, but I still have to have
James Webb, by any chance? Is Kubernetes and James Webb at least one cluster?
[laughs] But yeah, still looking forward to having that conversation. I think some folks are on summer vacation on that front, so still waiting to hear back on that, but…
It is the middle of the summer as we’re recording this, so things are a bit quieter… Everyone is preparing for summer. This is me basically preparing the whole summer schedule out. We were just talking about that, how amazingly busy KubeCon was, and how many great conversations I’ve had since – I think this is like 5 out of 15 which I’m waiting to have on Ship It, as the blog post promised. I’m making slow progress, but I’m making progress nevertheless. I’m so happy to be talking to you now…
And one thing which I did notice at this KubeCon - and maybe I was paying more attention, but I don’t think it’s just that; I’ve seen a lot more end users be open about their Kubernetes journey and their cloud-native story. So Mercedes Benz - I was talking to Jens, I was talking to Peter… Sabine – no, actually it was just Jens. They were all three on stage. But that was so inspiring, to see a car manufacturer Mercedes Benz talk publicly about how they use Kubernetes. I mean, that was just so inspiring to see. Boeing was there… A couple other names, which I don’t remember… These two were like - wow… I was just thinking about the possibilities. Did you have something to do with that, those end users talking about their success stories, coming forward, just being more open? How did that come to be?
Yeah, yeah. So when I started at the CNCF, that was like – I think it was the beginning of March. So a lot of those conversations were already underway. Jörg Schüler is somebody that I work with really closely over at Mercedes Benz, and their technical innovation group. And they are absolutely working on some incredibly cool things, and getting to see – incredibly cloudy; the future is very cloudy, so that’s cool.
[38:05] And there’s that InfoWorld article that has done really well in kind of talking through their 900+ clusters, and how they manage them, and maintain them… It’s been interesting to talk with them, have those conversations and hear about their use cases of “Do we go to a managed service? Do we build this on our own?” I’m having conversations with them now around those things, and… Like you said, I love the openness. I think that we’re finally coming into that age of understanding the importance of vendor-neutral discussions.
There’s this concept of Chatham House rules in some meetings. For those who aren’t familiar with that term, it’s about meeting in a place and not citing or attributing credit to something. So if go and say, “Hi, my name is Taylor, and my social security number, my secret password is XYZ”, you could go and say, “Oh, Taylor keeps his password over here, maybe in 1Password”, or someone keeps their password over here… You can talk about the things you’ve spoken about, but you can’t cite them directly, or be like “Amazon’s planning to release Infinidash in Q5…” So that’s kind of the intent there, is to make it a more safe space in which to be able to share this information, and to realize that as we work together, we’re able to accomplish a lot more. It doesn’t feel like the world’s on your shoulders; you’re able to kind of pair with others, and to each – everyone take a little bit of the problem with them to solve, which is great.
I think before, when we had talked towards that analogy of having a party and then just one person or a couple of people cleaning the dishes afterwards… And it’s like, “No, no, no. Let’s automate that. Let’s all get together and figure out a way, or everyone washes one dish, and then it’s a lot easier workload.” I’ve been really happy to see that.
It’s more fun. It’s way more fun. You’re part of the party in different ways; it’s not just like showing up, having all the fun, and “Bye! See you! When is the next one?” “I don’t know. I’m not telling you when the next one is.” Just like being a nice – and not nice; like, a considerate, kind member… I don’t know, I’m looking for a word… You’re part of a community, and you have a responsibility, you have a contribution to make, and if you just want to take - that’s not going to be a fun experience for you, to begin with… Because you know, we know how to handle people that do that. And that’s one thing which I’ve noticed, this maturity that has been developing in the CNCF, in the cloud-native ecosystem… And it’s been so nice to see how there’s all these checks and balances to keep people improving and doing the right thing. And sure, mistakes will be made. No one’s perfect. But how do we talk about those? How do we address them? How do we improve? And is it genuinely improving, year on year? And I have to say, I like what I’m seeing. And it’s been a couple of years now.
Now, you mentioned something really important about the openness that those big companies are just showing. And people may think, “Oh, well, why haven’t they been doing this five years ago, or six years ago?” Well, guess what? They started doing this eight years ago, and they’re only now at the end of the process. It takes a really long time to make a change as big as this, and I think that’s what many don’t appreciate.
The other thing is, we just need to figure out what the rules of the game are. And as you’ve mentioned, how do we meet? How do we collaborate? How do we communicate in a safe way? So how much of this is on your mind day in, day out? How do you create these safe spaces? How do you create these frameworks? Where do you even start? Because it’s a huge, huge topic.
Funny enough, the – literally, I’m not joking, this is 100% true… The past four nights, I have had dreams about being at KubeCon Detroit, and meeting certain people, and interacting… So it used to be that I dreamt in code and working on things, now. it’s I’m dreaming in community and KubeCons. [laughs]
[42:04] That’s next-level. Wow…
I don’t know what my health professional would say about that, but… [laughs]
Invested? You need a holiday or two… [laughs] You’re enjoying it too much, that’s what it is.
It’s like “I can’t wait, I can’t wait.”
All that to say it is absolutely on my mind, all the time. It’s honestly on my mind, all the time. Like you said, driving that sustainability, and having everybody kind of pitch in and be open and be a part. I think that we’re going to see more of that too, again, with the economy going up and down, and people looking to sustainability; how do we become a little bit more actionable when it comes to cloud costs, and running workloads, gaining more certainty… That’s always our goal, is to kind of gain that certainty. And that takes a while, right? There’s a lot of things that we have to test, and if you’re a company that has to do that on your own, I would say it even takes longer.
Nicole Forsgren starting up the DORA group, and releasing that Accelerate book - oh my goodness, it was so great to see how she paired together what sounded like best ideas, and what people were starting to prove out, to just completely take a scientific approach and say, “Here’s the data. Outsourcing - if you do that, it actually leads to a lower return, because you lose context around interacting with teams.” All of those things couldn’t have been shared or shown without working with multiple groups of people.
So as we work together, we are able to spend a lot more time collectively on these big problems, and unravel them. It seems like it might be a long time to figure it out - yes, but I would argue it’s even longer when you when you don’t band together. If we try to figure out what we want for lunch, we might never figure it out.
And not having a support group… I mean, you just do not have the energy on your own to push through. At some point it gets so hard, you say “You know what, whatever. After five years, I’m done with this thing. It doesn’t work.”
And that’s exactly when you need someone else to tell you “But yes, it does. And let me show you this. Let me show you that.” “Oh, actually, it’s not so bad.” And before you know it, you’re at the next moment where you say, “Ah, it’s just too hard.” And then someone else tells you “Well, no, it’s not. Let me show you this, that and the other.”
Exactly. It’s about developing that trust and finding these people so that you can kind of even sub out… Like, “Okay, I’m really in it – I’m in a good season of my life, or this is the right time to really dig in and focus on this.” And then after a while – like, life is what happens when you make plans, right? So as things come up, being able to shift over and have that trust, and build that relationship with people to say “Okay, well, John Smith really is good at this. Alice and Bob, I know I can trust them.” So being able to hand things off appropriately just makes a lot of sense, too. But I really do feel like that openness is really what’s going to drive a lot of great things, for all of us. And kind of rethinking what’s important to specific teams or companies.
Bigger organizations are looking at frameworks in which to employ a lot of these things. Smaller companies are looking for like “How do we unlock our full potential? How do we solve either this one problem, or this handful of problems that we’re trying to work through as we get market adoption, and figure things out for our company?”
So the perspectives are always different, and kind of seeing the innovation steps is also really cool, too. I think that, again, most of the innovation comes from these end user companies. That’s where the true innovation happens. It’s not typically in building up the feature, it’s not in – that’s because of all of the usage, and the “Hey, this is really difficult. I need this to happen.” Or “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if…” and then insert that situation there.
There’s something new which I haven’t seen until now, and I’m really liking it… The transparency reports that came after KubeCon EU 2022… How did that come to be? Because again, I haven’t seen this before, and there’s so much data, facts, numbers, graphics, infographics. It’s really clear for anyone what happened, what it looked like… Tell us a bit more about that.
[46:09] Yeah, so that’s one thing that I’ve really liked about the CNCF, is kind of releasing those numbers. In the past, I think that there have been transparency reports mostly focused on attendance, where people were coming from, and then every single iteration that comes out, it’s a little bit more refined, or there are more data points to focus on. I especially liked this one this time around. And the CNCF site has been rebranded. The logo actually just got a new splash of paint, that makes it a little bit more vibrant. I may or may not have updated the – was it the YouTube channel? So still a couple other properties to update, but I love how electric it feels. It’s also on Slack, too, if you want to take a look. If it seems a little bit brighter, it’s because it is… So thanks to the design team on that.
It needs to be. Yeah. More happy. More happy.
It’s great. It’s great. It makes me smile when I take a look at it. But yeah, taking a look at the Transparency Report, I’ve liked being able to see – that’s what this is all about, right? Like you said, let’s try new things, let’s see what works and what doesn’t. We noted that when – kind of sharing out this transparency report, there were some folks from other communities, like LatAm, that area in South America, and saying like “Hey, we have folks here in Brazil. We’d really to have an event here”, and so trying to balance that out. People South of the Equator, typically, like in India, or Israel, or Japan… There are different groups in Australia… There are other groups that have said, “Hey, we would really like for this kind of interaction with y’all.” And I love that this is my job - I get to sit down and talk with people about like “You really want this. Let’s sit down and talk about how we can make this happen.” Or “Let me understand your concerns. Let’s figure this out. There’s a solution here. Let’s find it.”
I actually worked with someone from Latin America, from Argentina and Uruguay, two people, and they were saying the same thing, like “Why isn’t there a bigger presence, CNCF, Linux Foundation in Latin America? We want to get involved with it.” So I have two names for you. One, specifically, Marcos Nils, I’m going to say it here on the show… Because he’s asking me about these things, to say “Okay, well, let me see if there is someone for you to talk.” And this is perfect, because I think there is a huge opportunity here, and we’re seeing it in the numbers, we’re seeing it – there is demand for it. Let’s make it happen. I love that idea.
Yes. Exactly. Exactly. And that’s truly – the CNCF operates really well with like “Let’s see the data, let’s make that decision.” And it’s really easy to pitch that or advocate for that when you have that data to be able to show, too. It’s like, clearly, “Ergo, let’s go!” So I’m really excited about that, too. And in the interactions and conversations I’ve had with people it has been such that they have said – and every country is different (spoiler) and it makes complete sense. And some are better able or suited to be able to provide travel, and other things… But the cases – even in America, that’s not the case. It can be difficult getting approval to go to a different state, or region, Midwest, or West Coast, whatever it might be… And again, with the economy coming in pretty hard, budgets for that might start to dry up. If inflation keeps rising, everything else keeps happening. So I would say it’s really on the CNCF and us to be able to find out ways in which to connect people and provide, or to be good stewards of the community and make cloud-native be ubiquitous. So kind of trying to drive towards that, we definitely want to make things happen.
So conversations I’ve had with folks on there, before I sidetrack myself again, is kind of on - people don’t get that opportunity to migrate and move, and they do want to network and meet with people. Most of the KubeCons – I felt really bad, my first KubeCon was in San Diego, and I had all of these talks picked out to go see, and I spent most of my time in the hallway track, because I was just starting to contribute to Kubernetes, and I was really giddy and happy to see all of these folks that I’ve only followed online or worked closely with, and I’m like “You’re here!” It was like summer camp. It was just a really great opportunity.
I know what you mean.
I came back and they said, “Well, what about the talks?” I’m like, “They’re online, it’s okay!” So not to diminish the talks at all, but it was nice to have that time and that networking ability. Even seeing the people that gave the talks later on and being like “Oh, I wanted to see your talk. I’m gonna watch it later, I promise. How are you doing?” and getting to talk with them about different aspects of what you’re working on was just so much fun.
So I know that there’s the CNCF survey, I think it’s still open… How much of the CNCF survey contributes to the transparency reports and other data that you share with the community?
So we’re really starting to ramp up on that front, which is exciting. So there’s the Transparency Report, which is just kind of about KubeCon, and the overall attendance, different areas there… There were collocated events too, and there’s little transparency reports for those as well… Like, what was the percentage, how diverse was this, and where do people come from… All of those same kind of similar aspects of the main transparency report are there as well. And those have some really interesting insights, too.
I think just anecdotally, conjecturally, I was looking through some of them, and looking at like KubeAI Day at KubeCon, the artificial intelligence collocated event - that seemed to be the most diverse one, and that’s kind of mirroring what I’ve seen and people I’ve spoken with within that space as well, which is just really exciting for me to see and to get to experience too, because I love seeing all those different perspectives. It does feel old, and it doesn’t feel fresh when you have that, like, “Everyone thinks the same. This is all fine.” It just brings a new vibrance to it when you have a lot more perspectives and voices flowing. So that’s been nice.
A couple more reports that we’re doing are kind of micro reports based on – the telco industry, and all of these other focuses are starting to come out, too. We’ve seen a lot of value from that. Like, instead of making a big report, like we have out right now, we don’t have to wait year to year for that; we can actually go and take a look at a specific area, say GitOps, AI, observability, what have you… And get just quick insights off of folks from that front, and then kind of cite that for other projects, and they can use that as a guiding principles, as part of their strategies. Most of the projects understand – they’re made up of community members, and people facing these problems, and people that are really dedicated… So they get a good sense of that, but this helps add a little bit more clarity in the ability to cite those things too, or to make calls to the community for like “Hey, we are working on this thing. We’d really your help, especially– we want to go in this direction, and we don’t have the expertise, or the people, or subject matter experts. We need more, we’d love your help.” And so it makes that kind of easier as well.
[56:09] The Linux Foundation released an open source jobs report recently too, back when I was at the Open Source Summit in Austin, Texas… And I was really stoked to see that come out, because of tons of information that was easily citable there as well, around all these groups… Developers are looking for these open source jobs, so if you’re able to offer that as an organization, you’re going to have people knocking on your door, and wanting to join in, because it’s just something that people are seeing as really helpful for their career, and mentorship, and growth. And again, you don’t always get that if you’re not working on open source. If it’s this closed, proprietary focus, you might be working on that for 5, 10, 15 more years, and then just kind of not really diversifying even your own kind of career workflow studies etc.
Yeah. By the way, there will be quite a few links in the show notes, so you can go and check them, to all the things that we’re talking about… So you can go and check them out. How was the OSS Summit North America like? What was it like for you, and what were the highlights? I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t been paying close attention.
I just actually wrote a recap on that, funny enough so timely. It was my first time going as well. I’ve always kind of seen it advertised, I’ve always wondered about it, and so I finally got to experience and got to go.
I really liked how it was broken up – it was actually in the same venue that I went to my first HashiConf in in 2017. And so it was multiple levels, so you had keynotes on one level, the expo hall was on another… It was really nice, because you could actually swing your elbows around, and actually walk about… It wasn’t like a more crowded feeling conference where you can’t take a step forward without bumping into somebody. So you could have more candid conversations with maintainers and other folks that were there.
It was a really good mix of people that were other vendor folks, or open source folks, maintainers, contributors, end users… Just, again, a really good spread of people to talk to and to meet up with… So I really had a great time. I think some of the takeaways for me were understanding – again, kind of coming out of COVID, again, getting into that feel again of going to conferences… There’s a person, Melissa from GitLab, that I got to meet, and she shared a love note to open source… It was a video of people sharing who their mentors were, and what their experiences were… But seeing things like that just really made me happy to see that people are getting such value from working in that space… And that was kind of the overall feel and flow of being there.
Okay. Were you able to watch any talks in-person when you were there?
Yes. I saw one that was absolutely fantastic, by Julia Ferraioli. She spoke about really just areas that we can really improve on when it comes to open source and navigating our way through it. She brought up really great topics around what is the shape of an open source community, how do you go and find these people… If it’s a security concern, how do you find that? If you’re doing research, who do you interact with? And so kind of suggesting that there’s more metadata, there’s a lot more information that we can add to repositories to enhance this ability, to make this discoverability, this findability a lot better place. And so I really, really appreciated, as I always do… Julia’s talks always kind of – I told her, it’s like, it blows up my brain and reconstructs it in a completely different way. She had a really good talk at GopherCon - I think was 2018 - talking about accessibility in Go. So people using screen readers to program, and how adding that extra carriage return or that space actually can make it really difficult to understand where the code is going. So again, just new perspectives… And so I really, really liked that. So that was one of the talks that I really enjoyed most of all.
[59:57] Nice, nice, nice, nice. So just to switch focus now again to the end users… We can go for the CNCF ecosystem, but even bigger - there’s open source, and open source is huge. Which end user stories do you feel inspired by right now?
I think the one that I feel most inspired by right now – there’s two.
Two is fine. Two is fine. Let’s go for two. Let’s go for two.
It’s like “Yeah, it’s good.” [laughter] So the two that I’m really enjoying seeing are Argo with Intuit, and just seeing how passionate that they have been around driving that project, and just developing out the different patterns in which people can use that. And just kind of understanding the flow of things, too. The Flux project - I liked that as well. That kind of pairs more mentally with me and the infrastructure focus… But Argo follows more of a developer workflow experience. And they’re both CNCF projects, right? And we don’t pick winners, we encourage that, because it’s good competition, it’s finding out ways in which to kind of solve this problem in different perspectives, different ways.
I really like how Intuit has really leaned into Argo and adopted that internally. They’re working very closely with the community to help drive changes that people want to see. They came up with this “app of apps” pattern as far as configuration… So like “This doesn’t work for us. Can we have something else that is a little bit more easily swappable?” “Sure!” and then coming up with that, and other kinds of different aspects of that project. So I really liked seeing that.
And I’ve also liked what Spotify has been doing with Backstage, and kind of - again, similar to what Julia was hitting on at Open Source Summit was this discoverability, this pluggability. How do we do that? Does it make sense to have a platform? Does it make sense to put that into the repo itself? Where should all of these things live? Should they live everywhere? And so I’ve really liked seeing what Spotify has done there, and kind of helping to drive adoption on that front, and being very responsive on “Hey, this plugin would be really helpful”, or “We’d want these things loaded in via core. That makes it easier to adopt”, and just being responsive and feeling those things.
It’s hard with an open source project to prioritize things and to be actionable on all of the things… I don’t think it’s changed… The more I’ve worked in an open source capacity, people have come to me and said, “What about PR 123456? Why isn’t that closed yet? Why isn’t this issue updated?” And either it’s not a priority, we’re working through it, or there’s a reason… So that’s something that you definitely see a lot more within the open source and other capacities. If your code is public, and there are open PRs or issues, people absolutely will contact you about them.
So you just gave me two new conversations which I need to have… Because Backstage keeps coming up, and Argo CD keeps coming up in so many various conversations… It’s obviously something that people – it’s on their mind, so I really like that. But I’m wondering about users, companies such as Mercedes Benz, Boeing - any users that just use all this technology, and they’re fairly big… Any stories that you were inspired by in that category?
I think the Mercedes one really resonates for me… And there are so many more that I still need to read up on, frankly. I think that there are case studies on the CNCF website, and so those are really good… Not all are from member companies, but that doesn’t mean they’re not using these products or technologies… They kind of walk through those, so if you want like a deep dive, those are really good to check out.
I’ve really liked getting to work with Mercedes and speak with them around those concerns, of “Does a managed service make sense? If we want to go multi-cloud, what does that look like?” And just kind of, again, how open and awesome they’ve been on that front, too. I like how they’re fearless in asking the questions, because I feel like – I dealt with that quite a bit at Disney, where you would have folks that had a principal title, senior title, staff title, and they had been there for 20, 25 or more years… And so as the cloud has come in, and these new responsibilities, methods, frameworks have come in… There’s this humility that comes with that, as saying, “I don’t know that” or “That’s a new way of thinking. I might be principal in this aspect, and I got that this many years ago, but there’s been attrition that’s happened, or misunderstanding, or just… I haven’t kept up to date with that.”
I think that ebbs and flows through everyone’s career, honestly… But it takes that humility and just being honest with yourself, like “I don’t know Rust. I want to learn that personally.” That’s a journey I’m on. Getting better at technical documentation. I’ve got some Google courses that I’m going through on that front, too. So learn with me, please. I feel like normalizing the fact that no one is an expert, everything is constantly changing… If we don’t keep learning, we’re just going to all be newbs anyway, and not have a full understanding… So let’s be plastic, let’s keep learning together, where it makes sense, and where it’s interesting, and let’s share those stories.
I think that folks that have kind of fallen into the “Once I’m at this level, I’m done. I know everything” and there’s that lack of wanting to say, “I don’t know”, and trying to find out how to include those people or encourage them to adopt that humility. It doesn’t have to be an intro to cloud-native; it’s like, let’s have a lunch and learn about cloud-native. It’s figuring out the right framing of that too, and kind of working with people that might not have discovered that, too. So I really that these organizations are being so open and driving that, not being afraid to ask those questions, and really pushing for like “Come on… If we don’t know where we’re going, we’re gonna figure it out. Come on, let’s get it. Let’s go!”
Because you mentioned about learning and resources, one thing which caught my attention - on the Linux Foundation website there’s a whole training section… There’s a free training course - anyone can do this - called LFS182x, because you mentioned the PR, long numbers… But what you want to search for - it will be in the show notes - “Securing your software supply chain with Sigstore.” I know that Sigstore and supply chain is on many of your minds - you being the listener - so there’s this course… I haven’t tried it out, but I’m tempted to enroll today and check what does it do. Because sigstore and cosign and fulcio and rekor - we have heard those names, even on the show; we’ve been talking to Adolfo… Alfonso, if you ask someone. There’s like a joke; someone keeps calling Adolfo Alfonso, and I think it’s such a great name…
I need to do that to him now.
Yeah, he needs to get a name for this person. And we had Matt Moore as well… The point is, it’s so easy to learn, because all these people - they’re learning together. We are all learning together. There’s always something to learn. So making a bit of time to maybe share what you know, but also learn from others. It’s so important. And it is one factor which makes the cloud-native community what it is. We’re constantly improving, constantly learning. There’s something happening all the time. If anything, the challenge is what do you pick to do? There’s too much choice. Everyone has seen the landscape. That is impressive. Creating that - wow… That’s really, really impressive. Just the logos, nevermind the projects. I mean, each of them is like – there’s so much to them.
Okay, so do we talk about the 16-point checklist GitOps success? Because that’s another thing which I stumbled across, and I was thinking, “Wow, this is interesting.” That’s on the CNCF blog. What do you think? July 8th. That was very recent. Well, relatively recent, when we’re recording this… I think GitOps is also on people’s minds, so that’s another one which I thought was interesting… But maybe, maybe we go to KubeCon North America. I mean, it’s not that far away… What are you thinking? How are you preparing, and what about masks? I mean, that is just – like, what do we know today?
DNS masks, I know that they will be there, for sure. [laughter]
[01:07:55.22] That’s a certainty that’s locked. So yeah, so many things on my mind for that… And there was – what was it? I’m not joking, it was one day after KubeCon EU had finished up, already had people requesting tickets for NA, for their member benefits and such… So KubeCon never sleeps. It’s always roiling and ready to go, so I’m really stoked about it, and I’m really excited to that it’s close by home, close by Cleveland, Ohio. That’s where I’ve been for so many years. I lived in Detroit for a quick stint, and I’m definitely going to talk about that as part of the keynote and the end user update. I might have some pictures from old mascots for the basketball team, The Pistons there and whatnot… But, I’ll save that for the keynote.
But so far, it’s going really well. I’m excited about the collocated events. Masks are still a question mark right now. I think at the time there was the BA-4 variant, the BA-5… They’re kind of just making their trips across the world… And so it’ll be interesting to see what happens on that front. But like we talked about before, with that data, and events, and trying to figure things out, and everything post-COVID and lockdown - it’s really reminiscent of a build pipeline, and all of these status checks is kind of what it looks like behind the scenes. So what do the numbers look like? What does the virologist and all these other people – what are all these people saying? So it’s an interesting space to try to take all that data and put it all together, and then make a decision on that front. It goes all the way down to yes or no… And then even with some other cases, too…
Events are – I had learned so much about events just from working at the CNCF and going to that KubeCon. It’s been one thing experiencing it as an end user, and then a vendor, and then finally kind of being inside of that process. So they work with folks that are vendors, and bringing people in… So your coffee, your water - all of those things are… They have to work through intermediaries, getting the events space… Like we had talked about before with the Kubernetes community days in these different regions or areas, there’s a lot of work that goes into selecting the venue itself, and “Can this accommodate this? Is it accessible?” If somebody has a leg injury, or is in a wheelchair, or can’t see? Does this work? Does it have elevators, escalators? etc. There are all of those kinds of concerns as well.
I’ve seen some folks take a look at that and be like “Well, let’s just do it there.” And unfortunately, that’s not the case. I would love to… And with a lot of things in life, too… “Let’s have a party!”, but someone has to plan it, so “Darn it!”
But I think it gets easier each time, and again, with the transparency reports, and everything else… The feedback is welcomed, the PRs are welcome, the issues are welcome… It’s all learning experiences. And so being able to share that and say like “Hey, this is calling out what works and what doesn’t”, in that way that’s embodying of the community, that’s polite, respectful, is just the best way to kind of get that across, I’d have to say. And please, feel free to @ me and let’s have conversations, too. I will absolutely listen to you. I’ll take your feedback down and I’ll make sure that that gets to where it needs to go to…
But definitely, definitely looking forward to KubeCon NA, and meeting all of you there. Please, please, please find me. I would love to have conversations with you, too. I know that before that we have Argo Con happening mid-September as well. That’s going to be in-person in Mountain View. I believe that there’s a digital component as well. Those talks will all be on YouTube as well, but like I’d said before with Argo, I’m really excited to see what that community is talking about, and have deeper conversations with folks there, too.
Okay, okay. One thing which is obvious - KubeCon never sleeps. But in between KubeCon not sleeping, there’s all these other conferences, and there are so many amazing conferences. Again, we really are spoiled for choice, and it is really difficult to pick and choose the ones that you want to go to, because you want to go to all of them, and it’s not possible. The virtual element helps, to some extent, but still, you need to make time… And you have to work, and you have to have a family, maybe, or a partner, or whatever the case may be… The point being - it’s a struggle, and we are just spoiled for choice… I mean, that’s what it comes down to.
[01:12:12.14] If it was only KubeCon, or only one conference, it doesn’t matter the name, it would be easier. But there you go, a good problem to have, that’s how I see it. Okay, so we’re still in the summer when we’re recording this… What is happening for you next? Do you have holidays coming up? What will make Taylor even happier, if that is possible?
[laughs] It’s like, “More sun!” Yeah, so I am a deep reader, I love reading. Please go find me on Goodreads. Share your recommendations with me, I will absolutely take you up on them. My goal this year is to hit 40 books. I think I’m at 28 or 29 so far… So very excited. I might have to up the goal. It’s been a good year for reading. I really some of the science fiction topics, I really like books on psychology… I just read one called The Body Keeps Score, and that talks about trauma and how people deal with that… There’s really interesting things that they’ve been able to find, like people that go through certain types of trauma actually end up with autoimmune functions that end up hurting them… So it’s so important for you to speak to somebody and kind of work through those things… Otherwise, it can have really bad effects later on. The same with anything - if your kitchen sink is leaking and you let it go forever, you’re going to end up with a problem in the basement, right?
But yeah, please, please, please share on that front. I have some plans to potentially take up surfing lessons, and scuba diving this summer, too… So really making use of the West Coast. So reading and beaches is in the forefront of my mind for this summer.
What I’m looking forward to is all those pictures. I know that you post a few on – is it Twitter, or is it Instagram? Both? Where do you post most pictures?
Yeah, mostly Twitter. I still have to step up my Instagame. I really do. I really do. I’ve gotten feedback about that… [laughs]
TikTok? I’m not on TikTok, and I don’t intend to be… But is it TikTok as well?
I’m following the open source kind of methodology there… I’m in the consume phase right now, but I’m about to start contributing. I’m about to start contributing.
I see. Okay, okay. Twitter’s great. Twitter’s great. So I’ll be following all your pictures from this summer. Others can check them out when they listen, if they want to. I’m just wondering how bright it gets. How bright do those colors get, and where does it go from here? I’m really excited about KubeCon, I’m really excited about all the conferences that are coming up… And I already know the follow-up conversation that I want to have with you - how to build communities, how to build healthy communities.
So again, I don’t know when that’s coming, but I’m really excited to dig into that, because I think it’s so important. It’s always the people. Let’s be honest. Technology comes and goes… Process - sure, to some extent, it’s interesting, but that also changes. The people - well, they tend to stick around. And when we build good, healthy relationships, they’re the ones that make us happy. And if we were to learn from someone, let’s just learn from you. I mean, you must be doing something right, with the people, relationships, to be so happy all the time… So thank you, Taylor, for today. It’s been a great pleasure, and I’m looking forward to next time. Thank you.
Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚