KubeCon Paris 2024
KubeCon Paris 2024

My KubeCon Paris 2024 Experience – Work & Travel – C’est La Vie!

Once again, a couple of weeks went by without any blog posts on the blog, I guess this is the 3rd time this has happened in the last 2 decades of my blogging journey. Reason? If you’re following me on Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, you already know.

In case you aren’t, the title gives it away. Yes, Maharaj was attending KubeCon Paris. And it’s just over 3 months since I attended KubeCon Chicago last year in December, which also happened to be my first international trip!

First, the US and now Europe are among my first international destinations, could it get any better? 

While I planned to complete my Discover USA series, I’m pausing it for this post. I’ll share my experience of attending KubeCon EU in Paris. I won’t be talking much about what KubeCon is as I already mentioned about it in my KubeCon Chicago blog post.

KubeCon Paris 2024 – The Grandest I’ve Attended

Visiting Paris was a dream come true for me. Having studied French in school where I not only learned the language but also about life in France – culture, lifestyle, travel etc. So when it was confirmed back in December last year, I was beyond excited.

Moreover, I was also speaking at a panel discussion on platform engineering and giving a lightning talk on Paralus, both of these were the icing on the cake. I’ll talk more about the Visa process etc. in some other blog post, but for now, I got it in 5 working days. I was way too anxious about this as unlike the US visa, you don’t get to meet the visa officer, everything here depends on the documents that you submit. 

KubeCon Paris 2024
KubeCon Paris 2024

KubeCon Paris was held from March 19 – 22nd as Paris Expo Porte de Versailles (fun fact: the name Port des Versailles, literally means the road to Versailles. It was here back in the day, people went to Versailles) – it’s a massive massive place with multiple arenas that can host exhibitions. If you’re from Delhi, think of this as Pragati Maidan Pro Max! It’s huge!

The first day of KubeCon is always about dedicated mini-conferences, from AI to Platform Engineering to many tool-specific conferences like ArgoCon, Istio Day etc. and the rest of the days are the main conferences with keynotes, talks and project showcases.

My Panel Discussion at OpenShift Commons

Getting a talk selected at KubeCon is not an easy task. It’s been four years that I’ve been submitting them, but every time it’s rejected. Last time though, it was selected for Rejekts, but this time due to my Visa I couldn’t attend, hence didn’t apply.

Luckily, this opportunity to be part of an esteemed panel on platform engineering came through. OpenShift Commons is another co-located event organised by RedHat. The panel comprised of myself, along with stalwarts of platform engineering. It was a short but insightful discussion as we touched upon various aspects of platform engineering right from what are platforms to whether you need one. There were about 80-100 people in attendance, so yes, it was a pretty big audience. Below is the video.

I was nervous and anxious all the time until I had the mic in my hand. I guess that just takes away everything from me.  Overall, the discussion was a pretty good one! 

Lightning Talk On Paralus

Due to my visa constraints, I couldn’t enter Paris earlier and since I was landing on the 0th day of the conference, I couldn’t risk having any of my talks planned earlier in the day. Luckily my panel discussion was in the evening and fortunately, the CNCF team decided to have my talk on Paralus the last one in the day. However, the panel discussion was at a different location than the main KubeCon. Plus it ended a little late, so I had to run to the main venue for my talk.

Running, sweating and panting I reached the hall. Since it was the last talk of the day, I was hoping no one to be there. But guess what? There were easily around 100-120 people in the hall! Since it was a lightning talk, I got only 7 minutes to talk about my project and it went well.

Project Pavilion And Showcase

I think one of the most exciting parts of any KubeCon is the project pavilion and showcase. All the CNCF projects get a chance to showcase themselves at the pavilion. This time too a lot of projects were a part of it. However, the best part was that it was all at the centre of the solutions showcase. Unlike the one in Chicago where it wasn’t centrally located, this time around it got a lot of interest and eyeballs, just by changing the location. Good work CNCF, I’m sure we’ll continue with this. 

Apart from the 0th day which was way too hectic for me, on other days, I would attend the keynotes (which were more AI-focused this time around) followed by strolling through the project pavilion and the showcase visiting the booths of projects I used or know about meeting the people behind them.

I also spent time visiting booths of projects that I wasn’t aware of to learn more about them. Further, since I was the only one attending the conference from my company, I had a list of meetings on my calendar. So I was busy scouting and meeting people too. And since the place was massive, I easily clocked 10K steps.

Playing Music & Meeting Friends

Apart from that I also did some fun activities including the KubeJam organised by my friends. Though I’m a trained harmonium player. I decided to try my hands at Bongos for a change. Random people came in, picked up their instruments and started playing. It was quite fun. 

I also was part of the CNCF Ambassador AMA session where people who wanted to know more about CNCF Ambassadors asked us questions and we clarified them. It was again exciting as I got to meet new people and understand from them what their expectations from a CNCF Ambassador were.

Further, I met a lot of friends whom I had first met in Chicago and it was so much fun meeting them again in person! That’s the best thing about conferences, you get to learn and network at the same time.

The Next KubeCon – Will Maharaj Attend?

If you’re following KubeCons, you already know the next locations for KubeCon. The next one will happen at Salt Lake City, Utah in November, followed by New Delhi – First ever KubeCon in India! I don’t know if I’ll attend the US one at the moment but I’m sure of attending the Delhi edition. Being in the community, and getting the event to India is a big thing, and Maharaj has to be there. 

Further, as I mentioned in the title, it wasn’t a work trip completely. I attended the conference in the first week and topped it up with a mini Europe vacation since it was my first time visiting Europe.

So I explored Paris during the conference and over the Holi weekend. The next week, I spent exploring the Alps in Switzerland and a few days in Rome, Italy. I made this itinerary as a history buff, mountain person, train lover, and foodie. If you’re following me on Instagram, you already know about it. Get a sneak peek into my Europe vacation.

So yeah, that’s pretty much about my KubeCon Paris experience. Massive is an understatement for sure, there were so many people, 12,000+ in attendance and every conference e room was packed with people. Some were so occupied that people had to queue up outside! Compared to the Chicago edition, I felt this one was grander. Looking forward to attending the next KubeCons too! 

PS: I’m also one of the organisers for KCD Hyderabad which is the first-ever KCD event in Hyderabad. We’ve already sold over 100 tickets and trust me this is going to be massive! If you’re in Hyderabad or willing to visit Hyderabad to attend KubeCon, register for KCD Hyderabad.

Until then, keep following the blog for more updates, follow @Atulmaharaj / @TheTechMaharaj on Twitter, @Atulmaharaj on Instagram or Get In Touch to know more. I’ll be resuming my USA blog post series and starting with the Europe ones post that.

About Atulmaharaj

A seasoned blogger and a content marketer for close to a decade now. I write about Food, Technology, Lifestyle, Travel, and Finance related posts. Blogging brings me joy and the best part is I get to read and e-meet so many amazing bloggers! PS: I'm also the founder for Socialmaharaj.com :) Favorite Quote: "Traveling is like reading a book, one who hasn't traveled, hasn't turned a page.

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