#117 August 18, 2020

Communication and KubeCon, with Constance Caramanolis

Hosts: Craig Box, Adam Glick

Constance Caramanolis is the co-chair of this week’s virtual KubeCon EU, and a principal software engineer at Splunk. Her introduction to Cloud Native came as an Envoy maintainer working at Lyft; she talks to Craig and Adam about communication: techmical, programmatic, in-person and online. We also summarise all the news from KubeCon.

Do you have something cool to share? Some questions? Let us know:

Chatter of the week

News of the week

ADAM GLICK: Hi, and welcome to the Kubernetes Podcast from Google. I'm Adam Glick.

CRAIG BOX: And I'm Craig Box.


CRAIG BOX: Welcome, everyone, to the first virtual Kubernetes Podcast live from virtual KubeCon, where we are all no doubt attending in our pajamas. Almost all of our news this week comes courtesy of the virtual KubeCon event, which is currently happening in living rooms and broom cupboards everywhere around the world.

I have to ask. You had commented before about your interest in joining the KubeCon 5K. I wonder if that went virtual. Have you been on a treadmill?

ADAM GLICK: [CHUCKLES] Yeah, as the event went virtual, so did my actual running. So although I may be doing a 5K virtually in my mind, I will not be doing it out on the pavement. I give myself a Mulligan on that one until we have our next in-person one. But I will keep that goal, that when the next in-person KubeCon comes and I'm there, I will be running it and look for other folks to join us in that.

CRAIG BOX: Something else we've had to take virtual is our booth meetup. We like to catch up with everyone who listens to the show at these events. So of course, this year, we've done it on Slack.

In the first couple of days of the event, we've set up the #kubernetes-podcast channel on the CNCF Slack. So if you haven't dropped by already, please do say hello. We'll even tell you how to get a sticker. We think there must be time left to do a special round of KubeCon virtual stickers.

ADAM GLICK: Totally. You could say that's the room where it happens?

CRAIG BOX: Indeed.

ADAM GLICK: And speaking of the room where it happens, I got a chance to see "Hamilton" this week. I realized, like most of my movie and video watching, I am well behind the times. But there was one of those that's available from Disney.

So after finishing "The Mandalorian," I was onto this one, and it is a fantastic show for anyone who enjoys musical theater or history or just seeing some really, really cleverly done stuff. Really enjoyed watching that, and now I will replace that with lots of KubeCon sessions that I get to watch this week.

CRAIG BOX: If you need to, I've thrown a little tip on Twitter, which I'm sure we can link to as well on how to watch these sessions at 1.5 or 2 speed because hopefully no one out there actually listens to us at 1 speed. I can't imagine listening to podcasts at real-time.

ADAM GLICK: I believe you also put it in the Slack channel as well.

CRAIG BOX: Yeah, so if you need that tidbit, you know where to go.

ADAM GLICK: Let's get to the news.


CRAIG BOX: Red Hat's OpenShift Virtualization is now generally available. Built on top of the open source KubeVirtt project, you can now add virtualization to OpenShift, including that most enterprise of workloads, Microsoft Windows Server. Also GA is Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes, an Anthos-like console for managing clusters and their workloads in private or public clouds.

Finally, Red Hat announced that they are working with Intuit on the Argo GitOps project and will be looking to officially bring it into the OpenShift ecosystem.

ADAM GLICK: Five years ago this month, Google announced the general availability of Google Container Engine, or GKE. One rename later, GKE celebrates this milestone by releasing a new eBPF data path, built on the Cilium project. With the introduction of eBPF, GKE now supports real-time policy enforcement and the ability to correlate policy actions to pod, namespace, and policy names at line rate with minimal impact to the node's CPU and memory resources.

CRAIG BOX: Stewards of the world's largest container registry, Docker announced changes to image retention to try and shave 4 and 1/2 petabytes off their hosting bill. Free accounts will be limited to 100 layer pulls every six hours, which your midsized Kubernetes cluster may easily exhaust.

More importantly, if you don't pay, images that haven't been launched in over six months will be automatically removed. Hosting open source projects remains free, but the retention policy appears to still apply. So set those Cron jobs up now.

ADAM GLICK: IBM has announced new POWER10 processors, which they say are co-optimized for running Red Hat OpenShift. Targeted at the on-premises part of hybrid cloud, the 7-nanometer chips offer three times the performance in the same POWER envelope as POWER9 chips and provide hardware enforced container isolation designed to be able to protect other containers in the same VM.

CRAIG BOX: A new Kubernetes controller introduces hierarchical namespaces. Built by the Multi-Tenancy Working Group and announced by Adrian Ludwin of Google, the project lets you label namespaces with a parent-child relationship, working around the fact that the Kubernetes doesn't have support for doing such natively.

The controller will then reconcile objects from the parent namespace into the child. You can also allow non-admin users to create namespaces by creating an anchor object, which the controller will then reconcile into a real namespace in the modern Pinocchio fashion.

ADAM GLICK: The OpenEBS project has released 2.0. The milestone was numbered as such due to the general availability of the three most popular data engines. It also includes a new high performance data engine called Mayastor built for NVME, which is feature complete and approaching beta.

CRAIG BOX: Version 1.4 of containerd has been released, adding support for cgroups version 2, also known as the unified hierarchy. Other features include expanded SELinux support, support for Windows through the container runtime interface, and support for Snapshot that is based on shared remote storage.

ADAM GLICK: VMware has been hard at work integrating its acquisitions, and this week, they've announced that their observability acquisition Wavefront is now integrated into Tanzu Mission Control, their Kubernetes management platform. Users can now enable observability from the mission control console, which will provide full stack visibility for operators, developers, and SRE teams. VMWare is calling this telemetry as a service.

CRAIG BOX: Mirantis has announced that after acquiring the container team that built Kubernetes IDE Lens, they have also now acquired the Lens project itself. CEO Adrian Ionel first broke the news on Episode 110 of this very podcast.

ADAM GLICK: Pulumi, who you will remember if you cast your mind all the way back to episode 76, has announced a number of new Kubernetes features, including a Kubernetes operator and kube2pulumi and crd2pulumi for creating strongly-typed APIs from YAML manifests or CRDs respectively.

CRAIG BOX: And now the famous Kubernetes Podcast from Google Lightning Round!

ADAM GLICK: AccuRx released an update to their Terascan security product to add infrastructure as code scanning for configuration files based on the Open Policy Agent.

CRAIG BOX: Biqmind, with a Q, has released CAPE, with a C, to help simplify disaster recovery, multi-cluster application deployment, and data protection in Kubernetes.

ADAM GLICK: Cloud 66 announced integration of their DevOps tool with OVH Cloud, and that their Maestro tool is now available for development shops to bring multi-tenancy to a Kubernetes-based PaaS.

CRAIG BOX: The CNCF has announced 17 new members joining a community of 570 other members and end user supporters. Intuit announced they have upgraded their membership from silver to gold.

ADAM GLICK: Common Computer has released AInise, an open source as a service platform that lets you put in a GitHub URL, and it will provide you with an API endpoint to that project.

CRAIG BOX: Datadog has released cluster performance monitoring with live container to let users view data in the context they need from orchestrater to container.

ADAM GLICK: Datawire has announced a set of add-ons for increasing developer speed and productivity through faster cluster setup, quicker deployment of code, and traffic management with their Ambassador API gateway.

CRAIG BOX: Elotl launches their nodeless Kubernetes product into the multi-cloud world by making it available across on-premises, Google Cloud, and AWS.

ADAM GLICK: Epsagon added Kubernetes level tracking to its tracing product to provide a single platform for logs and resource metrics.

CRAIG BOX: Grafana Labs has announced the close of a $50 million Series B round, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

ADAM GLICK: HAProxy has released an e-book called "HAProxy in Kubernetes, Supercharge Your Ingress Routing," which is available in exchange for your email address.

CRAIG BOX: Instana announced the availability of an application process monitoring tool that will automatically detect crashes and provide a root cause analysis for any process managed by this software.

ADAM GLICK: Kubernative has published a release candidate of a security-focused Kubernetes distro called KubeOps.

CRAIG BOX: Kublr and cloudtamer.io have partnered to provide container orchestration and compliance for Kubernetes environments.

ADAM GLICK: NeuVector updated their container security product to include compliance templates for PCI DSS, GDPR, and other regulations, as well as adding granular RBAC controls, policy management with an Open Policy Agent, and serverless security for AWS Lambda.

CRAIG BOX: Nirmata has released their Kubernetes management product for EKS and made it available on the AWS marketplace.

ADAM GLICK: Snyk, with a Y, has announced their infrastructure as code product, which scans Kubernetes and Terraform files for configuration security issues.

CRAIG BOX: SoKube, a consulting company, and Hidora, a Swiss cloud provider, have teamed up to provide HiKube, a managed Kubernetes service.

ADAM GLICK: Styra has announced a long-term support release of Open Policy Agent, as well as a new online academy for free OPA training.

CRAIG BOX: And finally, Sysdig announced a new piece of security research, stating that 58% of containers run as root, which you probably shouldn't do.

ADAM GLICK: And that's the news.


ADAM GLICK: Constance Caramanolis is the co-chair of this week's KubeCon EU Conference. She is a principal software engineer at Splunk via their acquisition of Omnition, contributing to OpenTelemetry. She previously worked in Lyft's data platform and server networking teams, where she built, deployed, and configured Envoy internally and maintained the open source project. Welcome to the show, Constance.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Hi. Thank you for having me.

CRAIG BOX: How was your flight? Did you get over the jetlag OK?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Ooh, that's really good. I wasn't expecting that.


CRAIG BOX: But seriously, your career so far has spanned quantum communications, mobile communications, and now network communications. Is this a theme?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: It was, I guess, an accidental theme. I guess, maybe it's kind of obvious that I do like to communicate, based on being on podcasts. And I know that we're later going to talk about the various conference presentations I've given. But also, my career has been very accidental, where I either met someone and be like, oh, that sounds really cool. Let me go work with you. And so it's been more like, “I follow the wind wherever it takes me.”

CRAIG BOX: So you say you worked on quantum communication. How can you be sure?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I wasn't sure. To be fair, when I was working on quantum, it would be 20 minutes I would understand something. The next 20, 30 minutes, I'd be totally lost. And so I wasn't really sure if I did the right thing.

CRAIG BOX: All I know about quantum communication is that you have the tri-state-- the yes, no, and the maybe.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yeah. [LAUGHS] Yes, that part, I do remember. But everything else about quantum, I kind of forgot. It's been a long time.

ADAM GLICK: You moved from that world into the world of network proxies and network communication. Was that an intentional shift, or was that one of the first of these happy circumstances that has led you where you're at?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Maybe not the first, but one of the many happy circumstances or choices that happened and ended up there. I guess, to kind of talk about how I ended up working at Lyft and on Envoy, was that when I was looking for a new job when I was at Microsoft, I ended up having coffee with Matt Klein.

And we ended up having one of those- I have described as one of those- perfect coffee work dates, where he was talking to me about-- I think they had just done Ingress into all their services. And I was like, oh, are you about to do Egress? Or granted, I didn't know the term at the time. He was like, yeah, exactly that.

And then we bonded over all of our very similar ideas around testing and ruling things out. And we were just like, oh my goodness, I want to work with this person. I have no idea what networking is. I barely knew anything about HTTP.

But it's like, I just want to learn from you because you sound really awesome. And at least we see eye to eye around testing and how to rule things out. And so I kind of just accidentally ended up working on Envoy. I didn't get it at all. I just know that it would be fun.

CRAIG BOX: So this was before you were working at Lyft, you had this conversation with Matt?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yeah, that was almost a year before I joined Lyft that I had this conversation with Matt.

CRAIG BOX: Were you hired directly to work on Envoy?


CRAIG BOX: What are some of the things that you built or remember from that time?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: One of the first things I did was configuration management at Lyft for Envoy. As probably many people know, the configs for Envoy can be very tedious. And so I-- and very verbose, which I am actually a very big fan of. I love verbosity. That's why I love C++.

ADAM GLICK: There's an XML book with a SOAP definition that's sitting right next to you right now. You're like, oh, I miss it so.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: [LAUGHS] Oh, yeah. I'm still a little bit peeved about Golang. There's too much magic for me. But yeah, so I worked with configuration management because we were at that point where we had hundreds of services, and we only had two service templates, one for Golang, one for Python.

And we need to create a way to automatically generate service configs for them, but without having to define every single service. Because what we had at first was that all 100 and something of those services were listed in the configs. But then you ended up with n squared health checks.

CRAIG BOX: Why didn't you just have fewer services? Maybe combine them all into one perhaps.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: But if we're the ones who are setting the path for service mesh, then we go 150% all in. [LAUGHS] I'm sorry. We really adopted microservices. I also-- that wasn't a question I asked myself at the time. There probably was a joke there, but not enough caffeine yet. But so anyway, we created a way to create smaller configs. And so I started with that. And then after, I worked on the config validation within Envoy.

And I also ended up spending quite a bit of time just working with our internal teams at Lyft. I always did some variation of customer service in a sense. I guess, in the actual go-to of what I've been working on lately at Splunk, I ended up loving answering people's questions. Like hey, I don't understand what 404 means. Like, oh, well, I know it because I have the operational bias of working on this for months or years at that point.

And people don't get it because I was like, they don't have to, and so just helping make that education, so I did internal training and trying to make our docs better, and just also getting to work with people when they say like, hey, I want to do x. And like, wait, do you really want to do x, or do you mean y? But you're only asking for x because you think that's the answer you want, and let's actually talk about it. And so, just a lot more of that type of bridge building, I should say.

ADAM GLICK: You mentioned you're working on telemetry and observability.


ADAM GLICK: Is that something that started while you were working at Lyft or something that happened after you moved?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: It happened officially after I moved to my next role. But one of the last things I ended up doing at Lyft for Envoy was trying to teach other engineers how to think about Envoy and all its metrics, right? Because you get thousands of metrics, right? There's a staff for that, which was a joke.

There's a staff for that one random thing there. And for anyone who doesn't build Envoy, it's overwhelming. And so I ended up teaching people like hey, what's the difference between upstream and downstream? OK, what does clustered up local underscore cluster mean? And after, what does cluster dot cert-- what does cluster dot location mean? And trying to build that mental map, so when they were on call, they can understand a bit more all of our default dashboards.

And so, I guess, I had started thinking about when how to teach other people how to think better about being on call for microservices. And then after, when I start talking to Omnition, and they had said, hey, we have a different way of looking at tracing, when I saw that tool, it was just like, oh, this sort of made my three-hour class about teaching people how to think about a request goes from a to b to d and all the thing there, it was a very intuitive way to think about things, but using tracing instead of metrics. And it was like, wow, this is actually really cool. That's where I ended up accidentally working on OpenTelemetry.

CRAIG BOX: After working at Lyft, you moved to a company called Omnition, which people might not be as familiar with. Can you talk a little bit about the product that Omnition built?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: We were in stealth right before we got acquired by Splunk. But we are working on providing a tool for tracing to visualize what a service map looks like, but using tracing data. I guess, one of my biggest pet peeves about observability and the tools is that how you interact with the tools are always so tied to how the data is collected, right?

When you're searching for logs, you see a text line, line, line, line, right? And so you learn to think about how to answer questions of that. And same thing with metrics. You have a metric. You're going to see some form of a chart. And this was really building a tool to remove how the data was collected and to show you something a lot more intuitive.

And so we were able to build a service graph that would say 20% of requests are going from this from here and there. And you didn't have to know that it was using tracing. It didn't matter what the data format underneath it was, so it was more to enable people to ask better questions, instead of thinking like, OK, well, I'm collecting these metrics. I'm going to see a chart that way.

And so we were working on that. And then we got acquired by Splunk at the same time as SignalFX. And so we merged a superpower SignalFX tracing with ours to create an amazing tracing product that we've been working on.

ADAM GLICK: You mentioned that you were in stealth.


ADAM GLICK: How does a stealth company get acquired?


CRAIG BOX: Surreptitiously.

ADAM GLICK: Was it omniscience on the part of the acquirer to know that you were there and reach out? [LAUGHS]

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I don't know. I had only been there for six, seven weeks when we got acquired. And it was kind of--


CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: My initial thought was, whoa, this was too soon. I left a big company to go to a small one. And all my colleagues at Omnition are so amazing. I just wanted to keep on working with them. I just want us to be a small team. But Splunk has been great to us.

CRAIG BOX: Has the team stayed together since your acquisition?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yeah, no one's left. We all still work relatively closely together. Some people moved to other projects, just because they've been at Omnition for a while. But it's definitely been a really happy acquisition. I have to say hats off to Splunk in terms of treating us really well and making the transition as smooth as it can be with so many changes in almost a year now.

CRAIG BOX: You're now contributing to OpenTelemetry, a relatively new project. What can you tell us about the work that you're doing there?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I do two things there. One, I'm on the governance committee, I guess I view it as upper management for the project, making sure that we're going down the right path. Right, it is kind of like upper management. We're part of a group of nine of us who try to ensure the success of the project both in terms of adoption, that we're going down the right technical path. And the other part is that I contribute to the collector.

One thing-- I don't know if people are really aware of this, but when you think about observability, especially if you think about it from the vendor hat, is that instrumentation is usually fairly easy in the sense that either there are a lot of open source libraries or the vendors will provide some form of instrumentation libraries you include there.

But the piece that aggregates all the data is usually proprietary. And so the collector is a way to aggregate all that data, both forms of metrics and traces. You have plans for other stuff in the future by making that open source, too. And the collector is really fun because you can do additions to traces. Like hey, I forgot to add this one tag. Let me add it here. Or I can redact things or use patching, Kube retries. And so it's kind of like, it's another proxy, but for traces of metrics.

ADAM GLICK: Building on your communications background, you also do a lot of speaking, notably at KubeCon and at the Velocity conference. This through -line of communications seems to permeate multiple parts of your life. What inspired you to take up public speaking?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: It terrified me, so I needed to do it.

ADAM GLICK: I've got a box of spiders and a snake in the other room.

CRAIG BOX: My people are famous for their jumping off bridges.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: [LAUGHS] Bungee jumping, I haven't done yet. I guess, a few years back, I started realizing that there is a difference between the healthy fear and the fear of something getting hurt. And I realized that public speaking was that healthy fear where I didn't really know if I was going to be good at it until I tried. And worst case, if I'm not good at it, I can either get better, or I can take a step back.

And so I decided to try and do it. And also, I think one thing that-- I don't know how to say this without sounding braggy, but it's just like, I think I'm pretty good at-- I call it speaking human, where we're translating what customers are asking for or into what they're actually trying to do. And especially when you think about technical talks, right, there's so much focus on, OK, it's almost like a laundry list. Like, I did x, I did y in there.

But then translating that into what actually people are trying to do and what problems they're trying to solve, there's so much more of that need for that gray area of conversation. And at least, if I get to practice doing that, maybe other people start doing it.

ADAM GLICK: As someone who's watched a number of your talks, I can safely say you're a great public speaker, and I hope you continue to do that.


ADAM GLICK: I was wondering if you've learned anything from what you've built in terms of technical communications and technical products to do that, that helped inform how you communicate as an interpersonal communicator and as a public speaker.


CRAIG BOX: Always wait for an acknowledgement before you deliver the next line.


CRAIG BOX: Are you waiting for the acknowledgement?


CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: No, I like it. One thing that's really funny-- so we talked about this before we started recording. I've actually been having nightmares about my KubeCon keynote, that I bombed them, and then, after I got laughed at, attacked and laughed off of Twitter, which I think being laughed off of Twitter probably would have been a blessing.

But regardless of that, right-- I still get really nervous about doing public speaking-- my keynote for KubeCon is actually about-- I did this thing called Design Partners. Right, I am a software engineer by training.

CRAIG BOX: She's making "air quotes".

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yeah, training, and I actually had to be a mix of software engineer, product management, was it sales engineer, customer support, and--

CRAIG BOX: You sound like you should be a startup founder.

ADAM GLICK: I was going to say, you're a one-woman-startup at this point.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Partially. Well, to be fair, oh, this is one thing that I forgot to say in my keynote is, I had a lot of great support. I'm going to call it Josh Gross, who has been my partner in crime for doing the Design Partners throughout this year. And thankfully, it wasn't a one-person-show because there's just so many moving parts.

But I had to actually practice learning "how do I translate a technical question into the end user question". And I think that most people just don't ask enough of why. Why are you trying to do something? What are you trying to achieve? Because we usually just want to give the answer right away, instead of taking a step back and being like, OK, actually, what are you really trying to do?

Because we could give a right answer. We could give what we think is the right answer to the immediate question, but we don't really know how to ask questions, I think. And so the better we are at least asking why and what and how-- and for now, because I'm talking to a lot of end users in terms of trying to adopt OpenTelemetry, I'm like, OK, well, do they have a timeline?

If they don't know all those things there, I can just suggest something that is way out of scope for them. And they could fail at it. Or if I could understand all the primers that they need or have-- I shouldn't say constraints-- then it can give them their answer. So I think it's more when we come to technical problem solving, we have a very clear understanding of what the goals are, but we forget that a lot of software engineering is actually, it's all soft skills.

CRAIG BOX: A lot of software engineers or technical people will do the five whys in the event of some kind of failure or post-mortem. Do you think there's value in having people think about that earlier in the process?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Oh my goodness, yes. I think we answer questions too quickly, and we don't spend enough time setting up the problem, right? Why do it in post-mortem when you can do it beforehand and potentially avoid some of that pain?

CRAIG BOX: Pre-mortem.


CRAIG BOX: Mortem implies death. We'd like not to use that word.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Let's say pre-sprouting, like a garden or something like that, fertilizing the ground.

CRAIG BOX: Many metaphors-- we can plumb the depths here.

ADAM GLICK: Let's call it an Omnition meeting where you predict what's going to happen.

CRAIG BOX: Is that name available? I think Adam would really like to acquire it.


ADAM GLICK: That name has got a lot of-- there's a lot of road you can drive down with that name. I love it.


CRAIG BOX: So on top of all of your current work and project contributions, you are, of course, the co-chair of KubeCon EU. How did that process start for you?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: It's another one of those happy accidents. So I think one thing that ends up happening that maybe at least what happened for me is that people suggested my name. Vicki, who is my other co-chair for EU, we worked together at Lyft. So I think she was one of the people who suggested me.

And also, from my Envoy work, I knew other people in CNCF. And so I think that's how my name ended up popping up. And then Dan reached out to me. It was like, hey, are you interested in this? And it was just like, oh, like, bringing out the paper bag.

And pretty soon was like, are you really sure I can do this? Like, [BREATHING DEEPLY] I need to breathe through this because I don't know what I'm doing. And so that's kind of how it happened. OK, this is another example, like, this scares me. So let's just see if I can do it or what I could learn from it. I said yes.

CRAIG BOX: The first responsibilities for the chairs is to set the direction through the program. Did you go through the entire selection process, call for papers, and so on, before the conference went virtual?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Well, technically, EU didn't go virtual until two, three months ago, right? But we did postpone it in early May. I think what's really interesting about EU, right, is that EU, both in terms of the content and there are a lot of great additions to make the virtual interactions more interactive, but it was all set as if to be in person.

So North America, what would have been Boston, right, is a lot more conscious about how to do the virtual part. But EU was-- we had done all the talk selections by end of January.

CRAIG BOX: The agenda had been published before the decision to defer the conference?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yes, because I think it had been published early February, if I remember correctly. Oh my gosh, that feels like--

ADAM GLICK: Forever ago.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Two years ago. Yeah. We have CFPs, but we haven't done any of the reviews for Boston yet, or what would have been Boston, I should say. And so I know that Steven, who's my co-chair for Boston, we've joked around like maybe we should-- kind of like your green screen Adam.--maybe we should actually set up one of those smoking chairs and get those velvet smoking jackets and just be like-- probably a welcome room where, hey, everyone. Welcome to KubeCon North America. Just kind of be like everyone's chaperone into the event and make that virtual part a little funny and attractive. Because Steven and I are both goofballs.

ADAM GLICK: That would be great, a little fire, the sheepdog lying at the lap, the whole--


ADAM GLICK: Speaking of those kinds of changes, what has going virtual changed in the planning that you've had to do for the event?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: This is where the CNCF, like the planning committee, the conference, they actually deserve all the credit for it. Because we're more responsible for the content and choosing who to speak and giving ideas. But they're the ones who are more involved in terms of trying to find those interactivities.

I think we probably can all-- at least, for me, some of the best things about KubeCon is the hallway track, right? Is bumping into someone, being like, hey, I saw you talk, and I just thought that was really cool. And then you end up having a three-hour long conversation.

CRAIG BOX: That's all Slack now. How are we feeling about that?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I am not the biggest fan of that, but it's mostly because I don't really know what to say. I think I more respond to if I see someone smile, then I could be like, oh, isn’t that funny, too? And so I find it personally awkward, but I know other people are more comfortable with it. We're just trying to find ways to make that type of-- I guess, what, another happy accident in terms of talking to people easier.

And so Slack is one way we're trying right now. And I know for some people who maybe do get anxious about the in-person communication, that will be easier. And that's great. And so I think it's all very much a moment to think about how do we do interactions and how do we build the communities and make them stronger and more inclusive, especially since we don't get that in-person direction.

But also that opens up to people who can't travel, right? Because traveling gets really expensive. Now they have better opportunities to join these conversations and meet people.

CRAIG BOX: That's worth going into. So obviously, the program was predominantly set before the change was made in the case of the Europe conference. Were there a lot of people who have had to pull out as a result of this and not be able to present?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I don't remember that many, actually.

CRAIG BOX: What about the converse then? Will the early virtual situation for Boston mean that there are more people who can take part who may have not been able to travel in the past?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yeah, I think in terms of attendees. I can't remember in terms of applications. I don't remember what our statistics were for that. But I do think it opens it up for more people, as long as they have internet, which I know isn't quite a human right yet, but it should be to study high speed internet. I think it should make it easier. But I know that's forward looking.

I guess, the one problem is, like, there are still going to be time zones. There's still going to be a little bit of a language barrier. That part's a little hard. And also, depending on your situation, sometimes you don't have access to a quiet space, right? And so that sometimes can be a little hard to interact with. So I would like to say, yes, I hope it does. But I also know that it isn't always the case, and something probably we have to think more about and the future needs to solve.

ADAM GLICK: What are you most excited about that the change to being virtual will make possible that wasn't possible before?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Ooh. I really don't know.

CRAIG BOX: Not having jetlag?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: No, that's true. I will say, the chances of me losing my voice now are almost slim to none. But I will say also, I tend to think more in the present. And so I'm excited to hear all the talks, but I don't really know what I would be excited for until the moment I'm in it. And so I think maybe that's something for me to respond with a reflection after the fact.

ADAM GLICK: Do you think that this change is going to affect a permanent change in KubeCon?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Of course. I think it's forcing us to think about interactions differently. And one thing that's been really great about the conference is just-- we've always been acting on a feedback loop.

There's things like-- what was it-- after San Diego, people were talking about the 101 track. And so we started adding a 101 track for EU. You remember-- what was it-- the puppies and the coloring and all the quiet things from San Diego, right, those were things we incorporated because of people's feedback.

And so I think the precedent has already been set from CNCF in terms of how to take feedback, that what we will learn from this we'll definitely incorporate going forward.

CRAIG BOX: Will there be some service whereby a puppy is delivered to my house for the duration of KubeCon?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Probably not. I think that, one, it's pretty expensive.

CRAIG BOX: A shame.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I can send corgi photos. I have a corgi.

CRAIG BOX: We'll put them in the show notes.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I think there's also, what, that llama that you can hire to join like a Zoom call or something like that. That might be the best, but you don't get the actual presence of petting a dog and the dog cuddling with you.

ADAM GLICK: If you were to look into your crystal ball-- see, I'm not going to make the joke. But if you were going to look into your crystal ball for what the changes are that you think we will learn out of this KubeCon that will help inform future KubeCons, what do you think some of the biggest pieces of that will be?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I think one is I imagine that some form of Slack or I am in chat will probably be a lot more present if we do go back to having more person conferences. Because I think that's always probably the hardest thing is sometimes you want to meet up with someone, and you don't have their number. But at least you can send them a Slack. And I think that will make that interaction a little easier.

I think when people are personally in the office, not like that virtual aspect, I think we'll just start incorporating a lot more of the virtual aspect into these interactions. And what might even be cool is having maybe a multi-tiered model, where there is an in-person aspect, but there's also the aspect to stream in. So that way, those who can make it can at least watch it live and maybe ask questions.

And so probably just having more than incorporated, but without forgetting to actually turn on your mic and camera like everyone does when they're in the conference room, and they forget about that one person who's remote.

CRAIG BOX: We talked to your co-chair Vicki Cheung in episode 80. And we asked her what advice she would give to her, as then yet, unannounced conference co-chair. And she said that she'd recommend looking for the unexpected content in the CFP process. Is that something that you were able to bring to this event?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I would like to say I think so, going back to January Constance. I think-- yeah, the unexpected content. Definitely I agree with that. I think we did a pretty good job of trying to have some variety. I think this is maybe a call to action to anyone who wants to submit CFPs.

If you have a crazy idea, just submit it. If you think it's crazy, if it's related to a CNCF project, just do it. Do it in the sense of like, I learned this thing about trying to use this project. This is how it failed. I would love to see more failure stories. Because I think we have a lot of talks about "I deployed this and this, and it worked really well". But it's like, I want to hear like, "hey, you know what? We tried this, and this failed miserably".

And it's not meant to be bashing the project. It's meant to be more like, we didn't understand that these constraints were going to happen. And so let me at least tell you about it because chances are, someone else is going to do it.

ADAM GLICK: This would be the "tales of woe" track.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yeah. That's where the puppies would be waiting right after the talk, right?

ADAM GLICK: There will just be a little dachshund on each chair as you sit down, and just start petting it now.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Maybe even whiteboards at the back because someone could be like, hey, I had that problem, too, but let's at least try to work it through because I think if we would have changed this and there. And we need more white boards at conferences. That's what we really need.

CRAIG BOX: Is that the advice that you'll be passing on to Steven as your co-chair for the November event?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: More whiteboards. Ooh, I feel like, yes, more whiteboards, more jokes. I think we do a good job of the after-events in terms of making fun and more of that social interaction, but also to making things more lighthearted in general. Yes, whiteboards and more puppies and cats if you're not a dog person, and also hypoallergenic for those with allergies.

CRAIG BOX: And a pony.


ADAM GLICK: Because I want a pony.

CRAIG BOX: It will come as no surprise to everybody that with the move to the virtual event and especially the fact that not everyone is in the same time zone as the actual event, that there'll be a large amount of pre-recorded content at this event. Were your keynotes pre-recorded?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yes, they were pre-recorded.

CRAIG BOX: So why the nightmares about giving them?


CRAIG BOX: You know how they went.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Sometimes you have this expectation you're ahead, and you don't know actually how it got received. And so I think I did a decent job. I always wish I could have prepared more because who doesn't create conference talks in the last two days when you're there?

But it's also because, one, it means a lot to me, and also, I want for everyone who's attending, I want it to be worth their time. And so I hope that they find it valuable and there's something to take away from it, because I think part of the thing that we forget is that we're doing it for the audience, for them to take something away.

And so I want to make sure that I gave a good enough presentation that they feel like I respected their time. And I hope I did. But you never know. Your brain is always mean to you when you're just doing something really important. Then it comes up with ways to make you doubt yourself.

ADAM GLICK: I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure you'll do great, and given what I've seen you do previously. Are you looking forward to the days when you'll be able to get back on a real stage with a live audience and the energy in that room?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Yes, that is one thing that I am sad about, is that, as co-chair, I will never be in front of the massive room. It's just selfishly I wish it kind of feels like a little bit of that validation of, hey, I made it here. But I do look forward to it, even though it's terrifying.

ADAM GLICK: It's a big stage.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: It's a massive stage. When Matt, Jose and I were in front of Seattle-- what was it-- almost two years ago, I couldn't stop shaking. And it was terrifying, but it was also just be like, hey, I did this-- kind of crazy. And even two years ago or three years ago, I never thought I could do it, and now I'm here.

And to just view that growth is just mind blowing. And so it's a very notable way to measure some accomplishment. And that would have been really lovely to have. But everyone's safety is way more important than my fear of being in front of thousands of people.

CRAIG BOX: Finally, Caramanolis is a Greek name. Now, you worked on two projects in this very Greek ecosystem called Envoy and OpenTelemetry. Are you a bit disappointed? And do you have a favorite Greek-named project?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: I don't. I actually kind of forget that I'm Greek until I think about food.

CRAIG BOX: Do you have a favorite Greek food?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Ooh, yes. So there's this thing called galaktoboureko. It's a milk custardy pie, a filo pie that's just so delicious. That or loukoumades, which is Greek donuts that are deep fried in honey, or just lamb. Lamb is great, and also real tomatoes.

CRAIG BOX: Is there any Dutch food that you're looking forward to enjoying this week?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: The stroopwaffels. Also all the pickled fish. When I was in Amsterdam a year and a half ago-- two years ago, whenever it was-- there's this really cute little restaurant that has amazing pickled fish, and that was really good, too, on a sandwich. I love all food.

ADAM GLICK: What do you dip French fries in?

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Depends. Sometimes mayo, sometimes ketchup, sometimes mixture of the two.

ADAM GLICK: Good answer.

CRAIG BOX: But never brown sauce.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Oh, are you talking about gravy?

CRAIG BOX: No, HP sauce. It's a British thing. It was last week's episode. You had to be there.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Ooh. But also if I'm in Quebec, then I'm going to want poutine, which is going to be gravy and curd cheese, which is so good, too. Oh, yeah.

ADAM GLICK: Constance, thank you so much for joining us this week. I'm sure you did great on the keynote.

CONSTANCE CARAMANOLIS: Thank you for having me. It was great talking to both of you.

ADAM GLICK: You can find Constance on Twitter at @ccaramanolis. And you can check out virtual KubeCon EU this week at kubecon.io.


ADAM GLICK: Thanks for listening. As always, if you enjoyed this show, please help us spread the word and tell a friend. If you have any feedback for us, you can find us on Twitter at @kubernetespod, or reach us by email at kubernetespodcast@google.com. And if you're at KubeCon this week, you can find us in the Slack at #kubernetes-podcast.

CRAIG BOX: You can also check out our website at kubernetespodcast.com, where you will find transcripts and show notes, as well as links to subscribe. Until next week, take care.

ADAM GLICK: Catch you next week.