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These are the KubeCon 2021 Talks We Are Most Excited About!

KubeCon and CloudNativeCon North America 2021 are upon us, and the conference is packed with so many different and exciting events on a variety of subjects, from keynote speeches to hands-on workshops and open project office hours.

It can be a tad overwhelming and confusing, especially if it’s your first time, so we’ve decided to curate for you the 6 KubeCon talks that we’re most excited about, so you know which ones you shouldn’t miss.

The following list encompasses a wide range of subjects on varying difficulty levels with a diverse set of speakers, so there’s something there for everyone. Are you ready? Here we go!

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Kubernetes Vulnerabilities

Speakers: Robert Clark & Micah Hausler, Amazon

Time: Friday, October 15 • 3:25pm – 4:00pm PST

Admittedly the title of this talk makes it almost impossible to ignore, but the real reason why you shouldn’t miss it is – and we’ve said it before – that security is the canary in the coal mine. 

The expanding security space and the sheer number of security startups in the Kubernetes ecosystem is a strong indicator that Kubernetes adoption will only increase in the future, together with the availability of cloud-native tools.

And if that’s not a good enough reason to follow security trends, you should also consider that, no matter how robust and resilient your system may be, flaws in security can render it useless or even dangerous if sensitive data is leaked. Therefore knowing and understanding K8s vulnerabilities is key to preventing them. 

This talk, by two enterprise-tier Kubernetes security experts from Amazon (and other guests), explores the history of K8s security, offers a taxonomy for classifying k8s vulnerabilities; including analysis of root causes and contributing factors, and finally peers into the future security posture of Kubernetes, making it the most comprehensive security related talk in the con this year. 

2. What We Learned from Reading 100+ Kubernetes Post-Mortems 

Speakers: Noa Barki & Shimon Tolts, Datree

Time: Friday, October 15 • 5:25pm – 6:00pm

Kubernetes incidents are our bread and butter here at Komodor. However, we would agree that avoiding known pitfalls and common errors is better than solving an issue quickly. In fact, a detailed postmortem is a must step at the end of every troubleshooting cycle. 

What’s so great about this talk is that our friends from Datree went through the trouble of reading over 100 postmortems so you could get all the valuable insights and lessons from the mistakes of others, without all the hassle.

Shimon is the co-founding CEO of Datree, an AWS community hero and an avid public speaker that we, as many others in the community, always enjoy listening to, and speaking with. This time he’s accompanied by Noa, a developer at Datree, which makes it even more exciting to watch.   

3. Introduction to Open Policy Agent

Speakers: Ash Narkar, Styra & Rita Zhang, Microsoft

Time: Friday, October 15 • 3:25pm – 4:00pm

After covering Kubernetes vulnerabilities you should explore another aspect of security; permissions and authorization. 

It’s not enough to just have a house with thick walls, you also have to put a policy in place that ensures only authorized people may come inside through the door, and that once they’re inside they can only go in the rooms they’re allowed to enter, and only perform actions they’re permitted to. 

We’re interested in how bad authorization policies can hinder troubleshooting in distributed environments, and we even hosted a webinar on that very subject. But regardless, OPA or Open Policy Agent is one of the most exciting and useful open-source tools out there. You should definitely not miss out on the chance to meet the project’s maintainers and hear the latest updates on OPA and OPA Gatekeeper directly from them.

4. Homebrewing a Kubernetes Bootcamp: From College to K8s Support Engineer 

Speaker: Alice Wasko, Ambassador Labs

Time: Friday, October 15 • 3:25pm – 4:00pm

This one is a lighter conversation, but not less important or interesting. While most of you reading this are probably no strangers to the cloud-native landscape, you may meet someone who is, and only by sharing knowledge and giving kindness can our community grow and expand.

The story of how Alice (what a fitting name) went down the rabbit hole of Kubernetes is inspiring for novice developers who are taking their first steps in this world, but it’s also vital for more experienced developers and DevOps who wish to lift others or create a smoother onboarding for their teams.

Education is a key tenet of the Kubernetes community, and it’s not just important to know how to learn, but also how to teach and pass on your knowledge.

5. Tools That I Wish Existed 3 Years Ago To Build a SaaS Offering  

Speaker: Mauricio Salatino, VMware

Time: Friday, October 15 • 11:55am – 12:30pm

“I wish I had this tool 3 years ago” is literally the statement that brought our two co-founders together at the very inception of Komodor. Besides, any conversation about R&D culture and tech choices is always good to have, as the ecosystem keeps evolving and new methodologies emerge. 

Culture affects tech decisions and vice versa, but this is not just a theoretical discussion, as this presentation shows you in action tools “that provide higher-level abstractions” to make your life as a developer a lot easier.

Besides being a staff engineer at VMWare and a well-respected figure in the community, Mauricio also hosted us on a Clubhouse discussion about bleeding-edge Kubernetes projects –  which is another reason why we can’t wait to hear this talk.

6. Testing Kubernetes Clusters – Building Confidence in Your Changes 

Speakers: Guy Templeton & Matteo Ruina, Skyscanner

Time: Thursday, October 14 • 4:30pm – 5:05pm

“As cluster operators, building confidence in the changes being made is key to allowing frequent updates without compromising on reliability”. We couldn’t agree more! While we’re focusing on building confidence by empowering developers with tools and context to troubleshoot incidents independently, this talk covers testing environments.

If testing is not implemented correctly in the development cycle it can seriously damage your CI/CD pipeline and slow down business velocity.  

Troubleshooting tools are vital to quickly resolving issues and reducing downtime, but proper and timely testing can prevent them in the first place. This is why we encourage you to stop by Guy and Matteo’s talk and take notes.

This case study will enable you to make a start in developing your own tests for Kubernetes clusters, understanding the benefits this can bring, as well as the drawbacks you need to beware of.

Come meet us

Whether you’re attending KubeCon virtually or in the flesh, you should definitely stop by Komodor’s virtual booth to get to know us and hear all about our new features and how we’re redefining Kubernetes troubleshooting. You can access the booth HERE.

We have another surprise for you – on the first day of KubeCon we’ll launch our K8s On-Call Hero online game, in which you can win up to 8,000$ in prizes. Think your Kubernetes skills are enough to nab the first prize? Prove your K8s prowess by getting the highest score – Click HERE to play!